SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

8 new teams can join Liverpool in Europa League – but Newcastle OUT of Europe

The conclusion of the Champions League group stage has seen eight clubs enter the playoffs for the Europa League, but Man United and Newcastle miss out.

Thursday night will see Liverpool play their final game of Group E in the Europa League, but Jurgen Klopp knows his side are already through to the last 16.

They do so having secured top spot in their group, with the eight clubs who finish second instead advancing to a playoff round.

Eight group winners will be joined by the victors of two-legged ties between the clubs who finished second in the Europa League and third in the Champions League.

Fixtures across Tuesday and Wednesday confirmed that Galatasaray, Lens, SC Braga, Benfica, Feyenoord, AC Milan, Young Boys and Shakhtar Donetsk will drop down from the top-tier tournament.

The winners of those playoffs will be drawn against a group winner in the last 16, with the latter also playing the second leg at home.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, November 30, 2023: Liverpool's captain Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the third goal from a penalty kick during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 5 game between Liverpool FC and LASK at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As it stands, Sporting CP are the only side already guaranteed second in their Europa League group, with Liverpool one of only three confirmed winners along with Atalanta and Bayer Leverkusen.

Man United and Newcastle were among those to finish bottom of their Champions League group, meaning they exit Europe entirely.

Sevilla, who have won the Europa League five times in the last 10 years including last season, also failed to progress.

2T494DD Celtic's Nathaniel Phillips during the UEFA Champions League Group E match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Wednesday October 25, 2023.

Union Berlin, Red Bull Salzburg, Celtic, Red Star Belgrade and Royal Antwerp were the other sides knocked out.

The knockout playoffs for the Europa League will be held on February 15 and 22, with the draw for the last 16 held on February 23.

After that, the last 16 will take place on March 7 and 14, meaning after their trip to Union SG, Liverpool will not play again in Europe for almost three months.