The UEFA Europa League draw provided some marquee matchups for when the tournament returns in February as third-place finishers from the Champions League groups stage drop into the tournament to take on the Europa League's second-place group stage teams. You can find all the action on Paramount+. Use offer code ALLYEAR now to get 50% off the annual plan.
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Barcelona vs. Manchester United
Barcelona will face Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League knockout round playoffs after Monday's draw paired the two heavyweight sides together.
Despite Robert Lewandowski's five goals in the group stage, Xavi's men dropped into Europe's second tier after finishing behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in Group C.
Barca have experienced this already when they dropped out of last year's edition and reached the quarterfinals before losing to ultimate UEL winners Eintracht Frankfurt who remained in this year's Champions League knockout phase.
Barca are keeping up the pressure on Real Madrid at the La Liga summit, but such a premature UCL exit was not expected.
Arguably one of the two goliath names dropping down along with Juventus, this was a nightmare draw for United who themselves were the big boys out of the group runners-up.
Erik ten Hag's side were unable to oust Real Sociedad as Group E leaders so have had to make do with second place and a tricky draw against Champions League opponents.
The Red Devils have looked better at times this season but lose to Unai Emery's Aston Villa over the weekend as Cristiano Ronaldo's malaise continues.
Things could get worse against the Villans with an EFL Cup meeting at Old Trafford this week, but United should be in better health the other side of the FIFA World Cup.
Along with Barca and Juve, Ten Hag's men are arguably one of the favorites for this Europa League title -- now one will go home.
The first leg will take place at Camp Nou with the second taking place at Old Trafford.
Juventus vs. FC Nantes
Meanwhile, Juventus have drawn FC Nantes in the UEFA Europa League knockout round playoffs after Monday's event matched up these two teams.
The Italians have been in poor health across all competitions so far this season and can arguably count themselves fortunate to even be here after finishing well behind Paris Saint-Germain and SL Benfica in Group H.
However, Massimiliano Allegri strongly believes that the Old Lady will show a new face after the FIFA World Cup break and their fans will have to hope that he is right with Federico Chiesa finally on the mend and Paul Pogba still to recover from injury.
Entering at this stage, nobody wanted to get Juve and the Serie A giants are rightly considered favorites along with Barca and United.
The Bianconeri's first leg will be at Juventus Stadium with the second coming at Stade de la Beaujoire.
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Europa League matchups
- Manchester United vs. Barcelona
- Nantes vs. Juventus
- FC Midtjylland vs. Sporting
- Stade Rennais vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
- Union Berlin vs. Ajax
- Monaco vs. Bayer Leverkusen
- PSV Eindhoven vs. Sevilla
- AS Roma vs. Salzburg