When is the Europa League draw and why are Liverpool not in it? All you need to know


The draw for the next round of the Europa League will take place next week but Liverpool will not be among the teams in the hat. The Reds have already qualified for the round of 16 by winning their group and will learn their next opponents at a later date.

The Europa League will feature a play-off round after the group stage for only the second time to decide who makes it into the round of 16. Eight play-offs will be contested by the eight clubs who finished third in their Champions League groups and the eight clubs who finished runners-up in their Europa League groups.

AC Milan, Benfica and Feyenoord will be among the big-name clubs dropping down from the Champions League, with Newcastle and Manchester United both missing out after finishing last in their groups. West Ham and Brighton could also find themselves in the play-off draw, with plenty left to be decided in the final round of Europa League group fixtures.

Express Sport takes a look at the details you need to know ahead of the draw for the Europa League play-offs...

When is the draw taking place?

The draw for the Europa League play-offs is scheduled for Monday, December 18. It will take place at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland in between the draws for the Champions League and Europa Conference League knockout stages.

The event will be streamed live on UEFA.com and will be available to watch for free.

Why are Liverpool not in the draw?

Liverpool will not be involved in the draw because they have already qualified for the Europa League knockout stages as group winners. The eight teams that won their groups will receive a bye and will be pitted against one of the play-off winners in the round of 16.

Which teams will be in the draw?

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

Young Boys
Shakhtar Donetsk

The following teams have finished or could still finish second in their Europa League groups:

Freiburg/West Ham


Real Betis/Rangers/Sparta Prague


Toulouse/Union Saint-Gilloise


Slavia Prague/Roma


When will the matches be played?

The first-leg ties are scheduled for Thursday, February 15 with the second-leg matches set to be played a week later on Thursday, February 22. Meanwhile, the draw for the Europa League round of 16 will take place the following day on Friday, February 23.

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