Europa League play-offs draw: Barcelona lock horns with Napoli, Sevilla to face Dinamo Zagreb

Unai Emery of Villarreal celebrate after winning UEFA Europa League Final against Manchester United
Unai Emery of Villarreal celebrate after winning UEFA Europa League Final against Manchester United

The draw for the UEFA Europa League 2021-22 season’s play-off rounds was concluded on Monday.

While the group leaders have already qualified for the round of 16, the runners-up and third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage will contest in the play-offs.

Spanish giants Barcelona were relegated to the Europa League following a disastrous campaign in the Champions League. The Catalan giants were thrashed by Bayern Munich in a do-or-die game on the final match-day, which saw them finish in the group behind Bayern and Benfica.

Barca have been drawn against Napoli in the play-offs, which will be played in February next year.

The Paretenopei managed to secure second place in their group after defeating Leicester City on the final matchday.

Barca and Napoli had previously met in the Champions League 2019-20 season’s knockout stages, with the Spanish giants coming out as the winners.

It is a tricky tie for Xavi’s side as Napoli have been unstoppable in Serie A this season. The Italian giants are currently fourth in Scudetto rankings, having collected 36 points in 17 games (W11 D3 L3).

Elsewhere, Barca have struggled massively in La Liga this season and are currently eighth in the table.

Six-time Europa League winners Sevilla will face Dinamo Zagreb in the play-offs while the other two Spanish clubs, Real Betis and Real Sociedad, have been drawn against Zenit St Petersburg and RB Leipzig respectively.

Borussia Dortmund, who fell behind Ajax and Sporting in the Champions League group stage, will meet Scottish champions Rangers in a thrilling encounter.

Atalanta, who failed to beat Villarreal last week, are drawn against Greek outfit Olympiacos. Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol will battle Braga while Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio await Porto in the play-offs.

Europa League play-offs draw

Barcelona (ESP) vs Napoli (ITA)

Zenit (RUS) vs Real Betis (ESP)

Dortmund (GER) vs Rangers (SCO)

Sheriff (MDA) vs Braga (POR)

Sevilla (ESP) vs Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Atalanta (ITA) vs Olympiacos (GRE)

Leipzig (GER) vs Real Sociedad (ESP)

Porto (POR) vs Lazio (ITA)