Explained: Why Barcelona will have to play a Europa League knockout round play-off after Champions League exit

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Robert Lewandowski Barcelona 2022-23
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Find out why Barcelona must play a Europa League knockout play-off tie after they were knocked out of the Champions League.
  • Out of UCL before facing Bayern
  • Will drop into Europa League
  • Must play knockout play-off tie

WHAT HAPPENED? Before even kicking a ball against Bayern at Camp Nou, Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage for the second consecutive season. However, as Viktoria Plzen have not picked up a point in Group C, Xavi's side have another Europa League knockout campaign to prepare for.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Because they have dropped into Europe's secondary club competition as a result of their failure in the Champions League, Barca must play a play-off round to actually qualify for the last 16. In that two-legged tie, they will face one of the teams who finish the Europa League group stage as runners-up.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Those two matches will be played on February 16 and February 23, with the draw to be made prior to the start of the World Cup on November 7. Barcelona cannot be drawn against another Spanish team in that round.

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WHO COULD BARCELONA BE DRAWN AGAINST? The Catalans could be drawn against any of the following Europa League group runners-up: PSV, Rennes, Roma, Union Berlin, Manchester United, Midtjylland, Nantes and Monaco.


Gerard Pique Pedri Barcelona 2022-23

Frenkie de Jong Barcelona Bayern 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? Xavi's side take on Almeria in Saturday in La Liga and will discover their Europa League fate on Monday.