Arsenal will avoid the play-off round of the Europa League if they win their group; otherwise, they will face one of the eight third-placed Champions League sides in February; Man Utd will have to take part in play-off in February after finishing second in group
Man Utd will be in Monday’s play-off draw – but Arsenal could avoid it
The Europa League play-off draw is coming up – how are English teams affected and who gets a bye to the last 16?
The play-off draw only affects the sides who finish second in their Europa League groups, pitting them each against one of the eight teams who finish third in their Champions League groups.
It means each Europa League group winner gets a round off – and will head straight through to the last 16, meaning no more European football to worry about until March 9.
Both English sides in this season’s Europa League, Arsenal and Manchester United, have already qualified from the group stages.
However, United could only finish second to Real Sociedad in their group, meaning they face a play-off, while Arsenal must beat Zurich on Thursday to claim top spot.
When is the Europa League play-off draw?
The draw will be held at 12pm on Monday November 7, at the House of European Football at UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland.
How does the draw work?
The eight group runners-up from the Europa League will be seeded to face any of the eight third-placed sides from the Champions League group stages.
The only restriction involves national associations – no two sides from the same territory can be drawn against each other at this stage.
What happens to the group winners?
They miss out on the draw and receive a bye to the round of 16. On February 24, they will be seeded and drawn against one of the eight winners from this play-off round.
Again, teams from the same association will not be able to be drawn together.
Who will be in the play-off draw?
Europa League second-placed sides, seeded
- Manchester United
Champions League third-placed sides, unseeded
- Bayer Leverkusen
- RB Salzburg
- Shakhtar Donetsk
- Sporting Lisbon
When will the games be played?
The first legs of the last play-off round will be played on February 16 2023, before the return legs a week later.