Possible opponents for Barcelona in the Europa League

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After being knocked out the Champions League, Barcelona will soon know their fate as they dropped into the Europa League draw for the knockout stages of the competition.

Barcelona will join the Spanish contingent of Betis, Real Sociedad and Sevilla, in the second tier European comptetion, which has a new format for the 2021/22 season.

The new knockout rounds of the Europa League will see the group winners all automatically making it through to the Round of 16, those being Lyon, Monaco, Spartak Moscow, Eintracht Frankfurt, Galatasaray, Red Star, Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham.

We will thus see the teams which drop down from the Champions League facing off against the teams who came second in their Europa League group for place in the Round of 16.

Rangers, Real Sociedad, Napoli, Olympiacos, Lazio, Braga, Betis and Dinamo Zagreb will start as the seeded teams and will play the second leg of the play off at home on February 24, 2022.

The first leg will be played on February 17, 2022, with RB Leipzig, Porto, Borussia Dortmund, Sheriff Tiraspol, Barcelona, Atalanta, Sevilla and Zenit the home teams.

As us customary in UEFA draws, teams from the same country cannot face each other, so Barcelona cannot be paired with Betis, Sevilla or Real Sociedad.

Barcelona, and Sevilla, could possibly draw Napoli or Lazio, who would likely be the toughest opponents for the pair, while Rangers, Olympiacos, Braga and Dinamo Zagreb would present more manageable opposition.

Things look worse for Betis and Real Sociedad as they could take on Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund, while RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Porto or Zenit  all represent difficult draws. Sheriff would be the most desirable.

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