Barcelona and Sevilla are set to find out their opponents as they drop into the Europa League play-off round.
There are some potentially engrossing match-ups ahead, with the likes of Juventus joining in the fun from the Champions League. With all eight teams from the Europa League side being from outside of Spain, there are no restrictions on who Barcelona and Sevilla could face from: Roma, Manchester United, Rennes, Nantes, Monaco, Midjtylland, Union Berlin and PSV Eindhoven.
Sevilla barely stood a chance in their Champions League group, as they recorded just one win over Copenhagen, which was enough to see them through into third. Their poor league form spilled over into Europe though and Borussia Dortmund comfortably beat them at home. Jorge Sampaoli will be hoping that he can reinvent his side before the knockout stages in February.
Barcelona’s group turned into a knockout tie against Inter, with both sides beating Viktoria Plzen twice and losing to Bayern Munich twice. The Blaugrana were controversially beaten in Milan and could not secure more than a draw at home, despite Robert Lewandowski’s heroics. They will be hoping for much better after crashing out to Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals last season.
Earlier in the day, Real Madrid drew Liverpool in a rematch of the Champions League final. Villarreal, as group winners in the Conference League, are not involved in the Conference League play-off.
Atletico Madrid of course crashed out of Europe altogether, their defeat to Porto meaning a last place finish. It leaves Spain with six teams in Europe – Real Betis and Real Sociedad made it through their Europa League groups as winners.
Zoltan Gera is coming onto the stage and he will be the chosen, or cursed one.
Barcelona are the first name he draws. They play against… Manchester United. Naturally.
Juventus have been struggling of late and they face struggling Nantes, just above the relegation zone in Ligue 1.
Sporting CP will play Midjtylland.
Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Madrid’s sort of nemesis, will face Rennes, who are challenging near the top of Ligue 1.
Ajax to play Union Berlin. A fun Northern fixture with two very differing styles of play.
Bayer Leverkusen play AS Monaco.
Sevilla will face PSV Eindhoven – it’s a return to Spain for Luuk de de Jong.
Finally, Salzburg play Roma, in a battle of the young pretender Matthias Jaissle and the wily old dog that is Jose Mourinho.
And that’s the full draw.