2022/23 Europa League: Key details about the knockout playoff stage
The draw for the 2022/23 UEFA Europa League knockout round playoffs has been released. Manchester United and Barcelona will lock horns in what is expected to be a blockbuster encounter. Notably, 16 teams are involved with eight runners-up from the Europa League group stage alongside eight third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League group stage. The winners of the eight playoff ties advance.
Have a look at the draw
Why does this story matter?
- The eight third-placed UEFA Champions League teams will have a second bite at the cherry.
- It will be interesting for them to face the runners-up of eight Europa League group stage sides.
- There are several major teams in the mix and one expects quality on offer.
- The winners will meet the group toppers of the UEL in the round of 16.
Eight teams have already qualified for last 16 round
It is to note that Arsenal, Fenerbahce, Real Betis, Union Saint-Gilloise, Real Sociedad, Feyenoord, Freiburg, and Ferencvaros have already qualified for the Europa League last 16 round. These teams finished atop their respective points table (Group A-H).
Group E: Sociedad emerged as table toppers
Manchester United entered the playoffs despite beating Real Sociedad 1-0 on matchday six. United needed to win by two goals, and despite getting an early lead through Alejandro Garnacho, they could not break Sociedad's resistance. Both United and Sociedad managed five wins and a defeat to end on 15 points each (Group E). Sociedad progressed as the group leaders with a superior goal difference.
Arsenal finished atop Group A
Premier League's Arsenal (15 points) finished on top of the Europa League Group A standings. The Gunners managed five wins, besides a solitary defeat to PSV on matchday five. Meanwhile, PSV finished second with 13 points (W4 D1 L1). They will need to be involved in the play-offs. Bodo/Glimt (4) and FC Zurich (3) bagged the next two positions.
Here are the important dates
The Europa League knockout playoff stage first leg matches are scheduled for February 16, with the second leg games a week later. Meanwhile, Europa League final is scheduled to be played in Budapest on May 31, 2023.