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UEFA Europa League

Europa League knockout round play-off draw: Barcelona take on Napoli while Borussia Dortmund face Rangers

13:17 GMT 13/12/2021
Europa League trophy Gerard Pique Erling Haaland
Two of Diego Maradona's former clubs will meet after the draw threw up a batch of intriguing ties

Barcelona will face Napoli in the Europa League knockout round play-offs, while Borussia Dortmund must overcome Scottish champions Rangers in order to keep their dreams of savouring continental glory alive.

Serie A entertainers Atalanta take on Greek giants Olympiacos, RB Leipzig face Real Sociedad and Zenit tackle Real Betis.

Elsewhere, Porto will square off against Lazio, and Sheriff – fresh from their Champions League adventure – have been paired with Braga.

Europa League knockout round play-off draw in full

Sevilla vs Dinamo Zagreb

Atalanta vs Olympiacos

RB Leipzig vs Real Sociedad

Barcelona vs Napoli

Zenit vs Real Betis

Borussia Dortmund vs Rangers

Sheriff vs Braga

Porto vs Lazio

The bigger picture

Barcelona have tumbled out of the Champions League at the group stage for the first time in 21 years, and things are not about to get any easier for Xavi’s side in Europe after drawing Napoli.

Luciano Spalletti has his team in the Serie A title hunt this season, along with domestic rivals Atalanta, who will be facing Olympiacos in the Europa League knockout play-offs.

Borussia Dortmund were another side to suffer a surprisingly early exit from Europe’s elite club competition, and they must now navigate a route past Rangers – with Ibrox sure to be rocking when Erling Haaland and Co pay a visit to Glasgow.

Sevilla, with six previous successes to their name, will be a dangerous opponent for any rival, as they seek to make a final in their home stadium, and are readying themselves for battle with Dinamo Zagreb.

Local rivals Real Betis are also looking to chase down silverware on Andalusian soil, but Zenit now block their path to the last 16.

Porto versus Lazio is another meeting between two sides with rich histories in continental competition, while Sheriff have already won plenty of admirers this season – with the Moldovans claiming the notable scalp of Real Madrid back in September – and will want to impress again when locking horns with Portuguese foes Braga.

Dates for Europa League knockout round play-off fixtures

All ties will be played over two legs, with the first of those taking place on February 17, 2022.

Return dates will be held a week later on February 24.

The victors will join the eight Europa League group winners in the last 16, while the losers exit European competition entirely.

All of those still gunning for glory and hoping to make their way to the final at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville on May 18.

Further reading