Because of a narrow defeat against Valencia last Tuesday, Ajax’ Champions League adventure of this season has come to a premature end. The club that lived such a football fairy tale in last season’s Champions League is now condemned to compete in the Europa League. Even though it’s not the competition Ajax-fans hoped for, the 2016/2017 season learned us that there is a lot to play for in the Europa League.
After the winter, only 32 teams are left for a chance to reach the Europa League final in Gdansk on 27 May 2020. Out of the 32 teams, 24 have reached the knock-out phase through the group stage of the Europa League. Besides that, eight teams qualified because of ending third in their Champions League group. The twelve group winners of the Europa League and the four best number threes from the Champions League are seeded for the draw. The teams that are seeded are:
Manchester United (England)
Red Bull Salzburg (Austria)
These sixteen teams will face one of the following teams:
APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus)
AZ (Netherlands) – Ajax can’t face a club from the Netherlands
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
CFR Cluj (Romania)
Club Brugge (Belgium)
Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)
Olympiacos F.C. (Greece)
Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)
Sporting CP (Portugal)
The first game of the knock-out phase will be played on Thursday 20 February. The returns will be one week later on 27 February. All seeded teams will start with an away game and will play the returns at home.
Please let us know who you would like to draw for the next round of the UEFA Europa League!