Europa League knockout draw reaction: Feyenoord vs Roma the standout tie to watch out for

The draw for the Europa League play-offs has been made, which sees the runners-up from their respective groups being pitted against all of the clubs who have dropped down from the Champions League after finishing third in that competition.

AC Milan have been handed a favourable tie, while Roma will be ruing their luck having to face Feyenoord.

Europa League knockout draw
Photo by Icon Sport

Europa League knockout draw

The Europa League preliminary round has thrown up some very tasty ties for 2024, with the ones who won their groups quite happy to see the likes of Feyenoord and Roma drawn against one another. However, AC Milan have indeed been handed a favourable draw against domestically underperforming Rennes.

The teams who won their Europa League groups are afforded more time off and won't play again until March, which is down to the third-placed teams dropping down from the Champions League, but they'll be watching on closely to see who will make it into the Round of 16.

Feyenoord vs Roma

This is certainly the standout fixture of the preliminary round with Feyenoord second in the Eredivisie. While Roma are lingering around in eighth position in Serie A, they only lost once in their Europa League group stages campaign.

Feyenoord have only beaten Roma once in their history, but given the contrasting league form of both sides, the Dutch side will be licking their lips at the thought of facing a fragile Roma side on their home turf.

AC Milan vs Rennes

This is the first time that AC Milan will have appeared in the Europa League since the 2020/21 season and it's quite a fall from grace, having reached the semi-final of the Champions League last season, but they will be eager to make a statement in this competition heading into 2024.

Milan enjoyed a gutsy 2-1 away win against Newcastle United to book their spot in the Europa League but now have to overcome Rennes, who only lost to Villarreal in the group stage but find themselves 13th in Ligue 1, so they are fairly inconsistent this season.

Young Boys vs Sporting Lisbon

This is one of the more intriguing ties and we believe there could be a major upset on the cards with Sporting Lisbon having lost half of their group stage games this campaign, while Young Boys certainly didn't do themselves any harm in a group which included RB Leipzig and Manchester City.

The two sides have met just the once, which saw Sporting Lisbon come out victorious by a slender 1-0 margin. Still, with their stuttering form on the continent, Young Boys will be confident of edging past the Portuguese side and utilising their Champions League experience.

Who will win the Europa League? – Current outrights

Liverpool (5/2)

Liverpool are currently favourites to win the Europa League, which is perhaps not a surprise. They have avoided the play-offs, going straight into the Round of 16 after topping their group. The Reds were top of the Premier League going into this weekend's games and are certainly one of the strongest teams left in the competition.

Bayer Leverkusen (6/1)

Unsurprisingly, Leverkusen are second-favourites to win the competition, after a tremendous start to the season. They are one of few European sides still unbeaten at this stage of the campaign, and boasted a 100% record in the group stage. Topping their group, Leverkusen have avoided a play-off, and will be fresh to attack the Round of 16.

AC Milan (9/1)

Milan are third-favourites to win the UEL, despite having to go through the play-offs having dropped from the Champions League. They boast serious European pedigree, and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season, so will fancy themselves in the UEL. Nonetheless, they are the team to avoid for many sides in the play-offs.


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Aaron Hindhaugh

Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.