Getty Images

The group stage of the Europa League is done and dusted. Now for the moment that the 24 teams left standing in the contest most dread. The eight third-placed sides who failed to quite make the grade in the Champions League will now drop into the second tier of continental football, facing off against the runners-up from each of the Europa League's eight groups.

That means mouthwatering ties from the outset as Barcelona, Juventus and Ajax (among others) face their first test in their second attempt to claim European glory. No team dropping down from the Champions League has won this competition since 2018, but this year some of the game's biggest names will be trying to write that.

Here's what to know:

How to watch

The draw takes place on Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 a.m. ET and will be streamed on Paramount+. Ties take place on February 16 and 23. Every game will air on Paramount+. The teams that have qualified for the last 16 will rejoin the competition on March 9 and 16.

How the draw works

The structure of the Europa League has changed in a way designed to alleviate two of the biggest complaints that some of its participants had with the tournament -- that there were too many fixtures and that those sides dropping down from the Champions League warped the competition. Now the best-performing Europa League teams get a bye (and the chance to put their legs up until March) whilst those that finish second must face Barcelona and company.

The eight Europa League group winners will be seeded, those dropping down from the Champions League will not be. Teams cannot be drawn against those from the same country. The away goals rule has been scrapped from the knockout stage of UEFA competitions.

Seeded for knockout round:

  • Manchester United (ENG)
  • Nantes (FRA)
  • Monaco (FRA)
  • Midtjylland (DEN)
  • Union Berlin (GER)
  • PSV (NED)
  • Rennes (FRA)
  • Roma (ITA)

Unseeded for knockout round:

  • Ajax (NED)
  • Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
  • Barcelona (ESP)
  • Sporting (POR)
  • Salzburg (AUT)
  • Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
  • Sevilla (ESP)
  • Juventus (ITA)

Qualified for round of 16

  • Betis (ESP)
  • Union SG (BEL)
  • Real Sociedad (ESP)
  • Feyenoord (NED)
  • Freiburg (GER)
  • Ferencvaros (HUN)
  • Fenerbache (TUR)
  • Arsenal (ENG)