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Europa League knockout play-offs draw announced

The draw for the Europa League knockout play-offs has been completed.

The Europa League knockout stage has undergone a major restructure this season. Instead of a round of 32, all first-placed teams automatically qualify for the round of 16.

Meanwhile, second-placed teams will be drawn in a two-legged play-off against teams who have dropped down from the Champions League. The second-placed teams will be seeded for the draw, with the Champions League sides unseeded.

Furthermore, the away goals rule is no longer in operation, meaning that level ties will go to extra time and penalties if needed.

Barcelona will be playing in the Europa League for the first time since 2004, having finished third in their group. They were drawn against Napoli, who progressed to the play-offs following a dramatic 3-2 win over Leicester City.

The two last met in the 2019/20 Champions League round of 16. The Catalan giants emerged as 4-2 winners on aggregate, thanks to goals by Antoine Griezmann, Clement Lenglet, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. However, only one of those four is still at the club.

Favourites Borussia Dortmund, who finished behind Ajax and Sporting Lisbon in their Champions League group, will begin their Europa League campaign with a tie against Rangers.

The first legs will be played on February 17, and the second legs on February 24. The unseeded teams will play their home leg first.

Full Europa League knockout play-off draw

Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to lift the trophy

Sevilla vs Dinamo Zagreb

Atalanta vs Olympiacos

RB Leipzig vs Real Sociedad

Barcelona vs Napoli

Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Real Betis

Borussia Dortmund vs Rangers

Sheriff Tiraspol vs Braga

Porto vs Lazio

Read also: Champions League round of 16 draw announced.

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