With the completion of the Europa League group stage on Thursday night, 48 teams have been reduced to 24 (and then increased to 32 with the Champions League cast-offs).
One or two European heavy-hitters have fallen by the wayside in the group, the likes of Internzaionale failing to do themselves justice and suffering an embarrassing early exit. In the same group, Southampton also left the competition as they could only draw 1-1 at home to Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
Surprise Ligue 1 title challengers Nice and League of Ireland champions Dundalk also fell at the group stage in a round that was relatively light on shocks.
With the group winners seeded and runners-up unseeded, Manchester United’s indifferent group stage form means that they, in theory at least, will face a more difficult tie in the knockout stage.
Tottenham, meanwhile, will be seeded due to the number of points they picked up in their Champions League group.
The full list of qualifiers (seeded and unseeded) are as follows:
Seeded: Fenerbache, APOEL, Saint-Étienne, Zenit, Roma, Ajax, Shakhtar Donetsk, Schalke, Fiorentina, Sparta Prague, Osmanlıspor, FC Copenhagen, Lyon, Tottenham, Besiktas, Genk/Athletic Bilbao*
Unseeded: Manchester United, Olympiacos, Anderlecht, AZ, Astra Giurgiu, Gent, Krasnodar, PAOK, Villarreal, Celta Vigo, Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Genk/Athletic Bilbao, Rostov, Borussia Monchengladbach, Legia Warsaw, Ludogorets
*Sassuolo v Genk was postponed due to fog, and will be played on Friday afternoon. A point for the Belgian side will see them top the group, but if they lose they will finish second behind Athletic Bilbao and be unseeded.
The draw for the Europa League knockout stage will take place next Monday, the 12th of December, and if the remaining Premier League duo can avoid a tough tie in this round, they will fancy their chances of at least matching Liverpool’s run to the final last season, with a Champions League place on offer for the winner of the trophy.