Home News Explained: 16 more clubs who could join Liverpool in Europa League knockouts

Explained: 16 more clubs who could join Liverpool in Europa League knockouts

16
0

The Europa League gets back underway this week but Liverpool’s next game won’t be until March, with eight of 16 hopeful clubs joining them in the last 16.

Having topped Group E after four wins from six, Liverpool progressed directly to the last 16 of this season’s Europa League.

They are joined by West Ham, Brighton, Rangers, Atalanta, Villarreal, Slavia Prague and Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen in already booking a spot in the next ground.

For the eight sides who finished second, however, they must get through a two-legged playoff in order to advance to the last 16.

Kicking off with the first legs on Thursday night, those ties pit the Europa League runners up against the eight clubs to finish third in their Champions League groups.

Those fixtures are:

Feyenoord vs. Roma
AC Milan vs. Rennes
Lens vs. Freiburg
Young Boys vs. Sporting CP
Benfica vs. Toulouse
SC Braga vs. Qarabag
Galatasaray vs. Sparta Prague
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Marseille

The first legs are all held on February 15 – with the sides who exited the Champions League at home first – they will then be decided on February 22.

The draw for the Europa League last 16 takes place on Friday, February 23 at 11am (UK).

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 26, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo (C) celebrates after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool will be seeded for the Europa League draw as group winners, meaning they will face one of the eight clubs to progress from the knockout playoffs.

That avoids a potential meeting with Alonso and Leverkusen at this stage, though another future managerial candidate, Ruben Amorim, could lead opposition in Sporting CP.

Shakhtar Donetsk picked up the most points of those sides to finish third in their Champions League groups, with nine points still seeing them fall short of Barcelona and Porto in Group H.

Lens and Milan both took eight points but were knocked out by Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven (Group B) and Dortmund and PSG (Group F) respectively.

The Europa League last 16 will begin on March 7 and conclude on March 14, with Liverpool guaranteed to play their second leg at Anfield.