The 2022/23 Europa League playoff draw threw up some tantalizing ties, not least Barcelona vs Manchester United, which saw the Red Devils triumph 3-2 in a pulsating tie.
Juventus were also involved at this stage and defeated Nantes over two legs, while Jose Mourinho’s Roma got past RB Salzburg.
The teams that advanced from the knockout playoffs will join the eight Europa League group winners who earned direct berths in the tournament’s Round of 16. That Round of 16 draws will take place on February 24.
In addition to the prestigious trophy and the prize money that comes with the Europa League, there’s also an automatic berth at stake in the following season’s UEFA Champions League group stage. Admission to that lucrative competition represents a welcome boost for clubs who fail to qualify for it via their domestic league finish.
Europa League knockout playoffs schedule
Both legs of the Europa League playoffs will be played on a Thursday as is customary for the tournament.
With eight matches on the same day, four will be held in the early time slot (17:45 GMT / 12:45 ET) with the other four in the later window (20:00 GMT / 15:00 ET). As is also customary for competitive balance, the four matchups that feature in the early time window for the 1st leg will kick off in the later window for the 2nd leg.
Europa League Knockout Playoffs — 1st Leg results
(BST / ET)
|Thu, Feb. 16||Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United||17:45 / 12:45|
|Thu, Feb. 16||Juventus 1-1 Nantes||20:00 / 15:00|
|Thu, Feb. 16||Sporting CP 1-1 Midtjylland||20:00 / 15:00|
|Thu, Feb. 16||Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Rennes||17:45 / 12:45|
|Thu, Feb. 16||Ajax 0-0 Union Berlin||17:45 / 12:45|
|Thu, Feb. 16||Bayer Leverkusen 2-3 Monaco||20:00 / 15:00|
|Thu, Feb. 16||Sevilla 3-0 PSV||20:00 / 15:00|
|Thu, Feb. 16||Salzburg 1-0 Roma||17:45 / 12:45|
Europa League Knockout Playoffs — 2nd Legs
|Thu, Feb. 23||Manchester United 2-1 Barcelona||20:00 / 15:00|
|Thu, Feb. 23||Nantes 0-3 Juventus||17:45 / 12:45|
|Thu, Feb. 23||Midtjylland 0-4 Sporting CP||17:45 / 12:45|
|Thu, Feb. 23||Rennes 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (4-5 on pens)||20:00 / 15:00|
|Thu, Feb. 23||Union Berlin 3-1 Ajax||20:00 / 15:00|
|Thu, Feb. 23||Monaco 2-3 Bayer Leverkusen (3-5 on pens)||17:45 / 12:45|
|Thu, Feb. 23||PSV 2-0 Sevilla||17:45 / 12:45|
|Thu, Feb. 23||Roma 2-0 Salzburg||20:00 / 15:00|
When is the Europa League Round of 16 draw?
The Europa League knockout playoffs will determine the eight teams that will join the eight Europa League group winners in the competition’s Round of 16.
That Europa League Round of 16 draw will take place the day after the conclusion of the knockout playoffs round: Friday, February 24, 2023 at 13:00 CET / 12:00 GMT / 07:00 ET.
For purposes of this Round of 16 draw, the Europa League group winners will be considered the seeded teams. The qualifiers from the knockout round playoffs will form the unseeded group.
The only restriction attached to the Round of 16 draw is that teams from the same country cannot be drawn together. That restriction disappears in the Europa League quarterfinal and semifinal draws which both take place on March 17, 2023.
Europa Playoff Round
|Arsenal (ENG)||Juventus (ITA)|
|Fenerbahce (TUR)||Bayer Leverkusen (GER)|
|Ferencvaros (HUN)||Man United (ENG)|
|Feyenoord (NED)||Roma (ITA)|
|Freiburg (GER)||Sevilla (SPA)|
|Real Betis (SPA)||Sporting CP (POR)|
|Real Sociedad (SPA)||Union Berlin (GER)|
|Union Saint-Gilloise (BEL)||Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)|
Europa League schedule for knockout rounds
It’s a busy Europa League schedule in 2023 with a fresh round completed every month between February and May.
There’s a short turnaround for the teams that make the final. The semifinal second legs will be held on May 18 and the Europa League final comes just 13 days later and will be played at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on May 31.
- Knockout Playoffs: Feb. 16 (1st Leg), Feb. 23 (2nd Leg)
- Round of 16: March 9 (1st Leg), March 16 (2nd Leg)
- Quarterfinals: April 13 (1st Leg), April 20 (2nd Leg)
- Semifinals: May 11 (1st Leg), May 18 (2nd Leg)
- Final: Wednesday, May 31, 2023
No away goals in Europa League
The away goals tiebreaker, which had been a feature of the knockout rounds in European cup tournaments since 1965, was abolished for 2021/22 with UEFA citing sporting justice among other reasons.
For over 50 years, the away goals tiebreaker came into play when teams were level on total goals scored at the conclusion of the second leg of a two-leg series. In that case, the first tiebreaker was the number of away goals scored, with the idea being that it encouraged road teams to attack instead of sitting back, thus improving the spectacle. Only if teams were also level on away goals did the teams proceed to extra time and penalty kicks (if necessary) to determine a winner.
Nowadays, If teams are level on total goals scored after the conclusion of the second leg, then a 30-minute extra time period is played, and if necessary, a penalty shootout is used to determine a winner should the deadlock persists through the extra session.
There were four series in the 2021/22 Europa League knockouts that required extra time and one that went to penalty kicks: Portuguese side Sporting Braga ousted Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol in the knockout playoffs. The Europa League final also went to penalty kicks with Eintracht Frankfurt emerging victorious over Rangers.
Who will win the Europa League in 2023?
Before the knockout draw, the betting market said that it will be a club from England, Spain or Italy that will likely claim the 2023 Europa League crown in Budapest.
The two English clubs — Arsenal and Manchester United — are among the top three favorites. Below that are a pair of Italian powers in Juventus and Roma, who won the Europa Conference League trophy last season under Mourinho.
SC Freiburg are deemed most likely to make a run at the silverware among the three German clubs, with Stade Rennes deemed the best candidate among the three French clubs. As would be expected, Ajax were the highest rated of the three Dutch clubs, but they were eliminated by Union Berlin.
Odds below updated as of the eve of playoff draw in November 2022:
|Man United (ENG)||+600||6.36||6/1||7.00|
|Real Betis (SPA)||+1000||9.00||14/1||15.00|
|AS Roma (ITA)||+1400||12.00||20/1||19.00|
|Real Sociedad (SPA)||+1800||13.00||14/1||15.00|
|SC Freiburg (GER)||+1800||13.00||20/1||21.00|
|B. Leverkusen (GER)||+2500||19.89||16/1||17.00|
|Stade Rennes (FRA)||+2500||26.00||40/1||41.00|
|FC Salzburg (AUS)||+3300||25.94||33/1||34.00|
|Sporting CP (POR)||+3300||25.94||33/1||21.00|
|PSV Eindhoven (NED)||+4000||38.79||40/1||34.00|
|Union Berlin (GER)||+5000||52.00||33/1||34.00|
|AS Monaco (FRA)||+5000||38.79||50/1||51.00|
|Union Saint-Gilloise (BEL)||+5000||38.79||100/1||34.00|
|Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)||+6600||50.90||66/1||51.00|
|FC Nantes (FRA)||+15000||154.00||150/1||101.00|
|FC Midtjylland (DEN)||+15000||152.00||150/1||101.00|
Europa League live streams, TV channels
Below are the TV and streaming destinations for UEFA Europa League matches in select regions around the globe:
|Hong Kong||beIN Sports||beIN Sports Connect|
|India||Sony TEN||Sony LIV, JioTV|
|Malaysia||beIN Sports||beIN Sports Connect|
|New Zealand||—||Spark Sport|
|Singapore||beIN Sports||beIN Sports Connect|
|UK||BT Sport||BT Sport site/app|
|USA|| CBS Sports Network,
CBS, Univision, TUDN
Australia: Fans can watch every match from the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Conference League with all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport.
Canada: Every UEFA Europa League match can be streamed in Canada exclusively on DAZN.
UK: The Europa League is carried in the UK on BT Sport’s TV and streaming platforms.
USA: Fans in the USA can watch the Europa League in English (CBS and Paramount+) and Spanish (Univision, TUDN, UniMas, ViX and ViX+).
When matches are televised on CBS or Univision TV channels, those same channels are streamed on fuboTV, which is available on a free trial for new users.