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Europa League Round of 16 Draw: Date, Rules & Qualified Teams

It’s crunch time in the Europa League group stage, with the half-season finale unfolding on Thursday, December 14.

For only the second time, Europe’s second-tier competition will feature a play-off round after the group stage to determine which teams enter the 2023/24 last-16 draw.

Eight play-off ties featuring the eight teams that secured a third-place finish in their Champions League groups and the eight sides emerging as runners-up in their Europa League groups will take place in February. 

The Europa League play-off draw will determine the fixtures between the clubs, with the victorious teams from these play-off ties advancing to the last-16 draw. 

Subsequently, they will join the eight group winners from the Europa League to compete in the subsequent knockout stages.

Here are all the details.

When is the Europa League Play-Off Draw?

The draw for the knockout play-off round will take place in UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday with the start time scheduled after the completion of the Champions League last-16 draw.

Rules for the Play-Off Draw

As mentioned above, the eight teams switching over from the Champions League will play Europa League group stage runners-up. 


It is the penultimate stage of the competition, where teams from the same country cannot be drawn against each other.

Meet the Teams

The eight teams that finished third in their Champions League groups are:

  • Galatasaray
  • Lens
  • Braga
  • Benfica
  • Feyenoord
  • AC Milan
  • Young Boys
  • Shakhtar Donetsk

The following teams have finished second from their respective Europa League groups and will enter the play-off draw:

  • Group A: Freiburg
  • Group B: Marseille
  • Group C: Sparta Prague
  • Group D: Sporting CP
  • Group E: Toulouse
  • Group F: Rennes
  • Group G: Roma
  • Group H: Qarabag

Europa League play-off round full draw

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

Quick Recap

Last season’s Europa League finalists, Roma, had to settle for a runner-up finish in Group G behind Slavia Prague. As a result, they face a competitive-looking knockout tie versus Feyenoord, who dropped down from Champions League Group E.

Roma’s bitter Serie A rivals Milan, who pipped Newcastle United to a third-place finish in the Champions League ‘group of death,’ continue their European journey against Rennes.

Three more French sides must navigate the knockout play-off round to book a place in the last-16, with Marseille encountering seasoned European campaigners Shakhtar and Toulouse facing Benfica. 

Lens, the only Ligue 1 side coming from Europe’s top table, take on Freiburg. 

After curtailing Manchester United’s continental run, Galatasaray switched from the Champions League to Europe’s second-tier competition to lock horns with Sparta Prague. 

How to Watch

Viewers interested in watching the draw can catch it live on UEFA.com.

For audiences in the United Kingdom, TNT Sports will be broadcasting the event, while you can check our live football streaming page for how to watch any football match live online.

When do the Europa League Knockout Play-off Ties Take Place?

Unlike the Champions League opening knockout stage ties contested across two weeks, the first and second legs in the Europa League play-off round will play out in seven days.

  • First legs: February 15
  • Second legs: February 22

When is the Europa League Last-16?

The draw for the round-of-16 knockout stage will take place on February 23, a day after the play-off second legs, with Europa League group-stage winners joining the play-off victors.

The first legs will be played on March 7 and the second legs will take place on March 14

The Europa League group-stage winners:

  • Group A: West Ham United
  • Group B: Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Group C: Rangers
  • Group D: Atalanta
  • Group E: Liverpool
  • Group F: Villarreal
  • Group G: Slavia Prague
  • Group H: Bayer Leverkusen

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