Europa League state of play: Who has qualified from the group stage and when is the draw for the knockout rounds?

The 2021/22 Europa League final is set to take place on Wednesday, May 18 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville, Spain

West Ham are through to the last 16 and Rangers to the knockout play-offs, but what's the state of play elsewhere in the Europa League and who could they face?

West Ham continued their unbeaten start with a comfortable win at Rapid Vienna, to seal their progression straight to the last 16 as group winners, bypassing the play-off phase in February.

Rangers' impressive 2-0 win over Sparta Prague in Giovanni van Bronckhorst's first game at the helm means they will go through to that play-off round, where they will face one of the eight teams who finished third in the Champions League group stages.

Things are up in the air for Leicester, who are top of Group C but could still also still finish bottom, while Celtic now know their Europa League campaign will end in the group stages after a Bayer Leverkusen comeback saw them beaten 3-2 in Germany.

West Ham celebrate a goal in the Europa League
Image: West Ham will be in the Europa League beyond the group stages

What is a play-off round and what's changed about the Europa League?

From 2021/22, the Europa League group stage has been truncated to eight groups. Instead of a round of 32, the eight second-placed teams will meet one of the eight sides finishing third in their respective Champions League groups in a two-legged play-off round in February.

Those eight teams will join the eight Europa League group winners in the last 16 in March.

The teams who finish third in their Europa League groups will also see their European seasons extended for the first time, with those eight sides facing one of the eight sides who finished second in the Europa Conference League group stage for a place in the last 16 of that competition.

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Who has qualified for the last 16?

Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco, West Ham.

Who will at least reach the play-off round?

Frankfurt, Galatasaray, Lazio, Olympiakos, who could all still finish top of their group.

Real Betis and Rangers have qualified for the play-off round but cannot win their group, meaning they are destined for the play-off round.

When is the draw for the play-off?

The Europa League play-off draw takes place in Nyon, Switzerland on December 13.

How does the play-off draw work?

The eight sides finishing second in their Europa League group will be seeded and drawn against the eight sides who finished third in their Champions League groups.

No team can play a club from their group or any side from their own country.

The sides who finished second in their Europa League groups will play the first leg of their last-16 tie away from home.

When are the play-off ties?

The first legs of the play-off ties will be played on February 17, with the return fixtures a week later on February 24.

Europa League state of play

Group A

Rangers are guaranteed a place in the play-offs after beating Sparta Prague, who can no longer finish above them.

Lyon have already won Group A, while one of Sparta and Brondby will drop into the Europa Conference League by finishing third.

Group B

Monaco have won Group B thanks to their 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad.

It's winner-takes-all for second spot when the Spanish side and PSV go head-to-head on December 9, with anything but a Real Sociedad win taking PSV into the play-offs. Sturm Graz are eliminated.

Group C

Anything goes, pretty much, in Group C. Legia cannot now win the group as whatever the result when Napoli and Leicester play one another on Matchday 6, one of them will finish above the Polish side.

Apart from that, anyone can finish anywhere.

Group D

Frankfurt and Olympiakos are fighting it out for the top two places in Group D, but a point against Fenerbahce would be enough for the German side to seal their last-16 spot on Matchday 6 thanks to their superior head-to-head record.

Fenerbahce are guaranteed third, and Antwerp are out.

Group E

Anything but a Lazio win on Matchday 6 will see their opponents that day, Galatasaray, win the group, although the Italians are guaranteed at least second place.

Marseille, who followed four straight draws with their first defeat on Matchday 5, are out, and must avoid defeat by Lokomotiv Moscow on Matchday 6 to avoid the Russian side finishing above them, and crashing out of Europe altogether.

Group F

Midtjylland's win over Braga has made things interesting in Group F.

If there is a winner when Red Star and Braga meet on Matchday 6, the victor will finish top of Group F, with the loser dropping into third if Midtjylland beat Ludogorets, who are already out.

However, if their game ends in a draw, Midtjylland would leapfrog Red Star into top spot, courtesy of their superior head-to-head record, with victory over their Bulgarian foe.

Group G

Celtic's Europa League journey will end in the group stages after a Bayer Leverkusen fightback saw two late goals down them in Germany, and win the group for their hosts.

Betis are heading to the play-off knock-outs, and Ferencvaros are out.

Group H

West Ham's sensational start to life in the Europa League has won them the group with a game to spare, ahead of a visit from Dinamo Zagreb - who need a point to secure second spot - on Matchday 6.

If the Hammers win again, then Genk will jump above the Croatians into second with victory over Rapid Vienna.

Conversely, should Rapid spring a surprise and win themselves then they will finish third, Genk will be out and Dinamo will finish second no matter what happens at the London Stadium.

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