The UEFA Europa League will return to the football calendar imminently, although this year’s competition will feature an additional round compared to previous formats.
Due to the expansion of the tournament that was implemented by the governing body, a Knockout Play-off Round has been created which will see a total of 16 teams be required to try and navigate this additional obstacle that has been placed in front of them.
Indeed, this round will feature some of the biggest teams in Europe as those that finished third in their UEFA Champions League Group Stage will enter this competition at this stage, including the likes of FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.
Of course, football fans will have been left delighted with the additional round of the competition, as it means they will have additional opportunities to place a bet on the tournament. Indeed, a number of top bonuses can be found here to help make sure they further enhance their overall betting experience if they choose to place a wager on a game.
What matches are scheduled to be played?
There are a total of eight matches scheduled to be played in this round of the UEFA Europa League competition, with the winners then advancing to the Round of 16 stage where the Group Stage winners will await them. The teams that lose on aggregate over the two legs that are to be played will then be eliminated from the competition.
The first leg is scheduled to take place on Thursday 17 February, whilst the second leg will be played a week later on 24 February.
The following eight matches have been drawn to take place:
- Sevilla vs Dinamo Zagreb
- Atlanta vs Olympiacos
- RB Leipzig vs Real Sociedad
- FC Barcelona vs SSC Napoli
- Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Real Betis
- Borussia Dortmund vs Rangers
- Sheriff Tiraspol vs Braga
- FC Porto vs SS Lazio
What games should we watch?
In truth, and perhaps as much of a football cliche as it is, there are not really any games on the fixture list for this UEFA Europa League match that should be missed, however there are definitely some that should be watched, if not kept an eye on closely.
Indeed, the FC Barcelona vs SSC Napoli fixture is the one that stands out above all of the others as it will see two of Europe’s biggest football clubs square up against each other. Both prior to the drawing of this schedule would have been touted as favorites to go on and win the tournament but clearly, only one team can advance and it would not be a surprise if the Spaniards did.
Another match that is perhaps worth looking out for could be the game between Borussia Dortmund and Rangers, with players like Erling Haaland likely to be on show whilst the game between FC Porto and SS Lazio could be another top clash that is worth watching closely.
What do you think will happen across the two legs? What are your predictions and who do you think will advance to the next stage of the competition?