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Seedings For The Europa League First Knockout Stage Have Been Confirmed

NYON, SWITZERLAND - AUGUST 08: The UEFA Europa League trophy is displayed during the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League Play-off round draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football on August 8, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

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.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Steven Davis of Southampton holds off Mohammad Ghadir of Hapoel Be'er-Sheva during the UEFA Europa League Group K match between Southampton FC and Hapoel Be'er-Sheva FC at St Mary's Stadium on December 8, 2016 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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.

ODESSA, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 8 : Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2nd R) of Manchester United and his teammates celebrate after scoring a goal during the UEFA Europa League group A match between FC Zorya Luhansk and Manchester United at Chornomorets stadium in Odessa, Ukraine on December 8, 2016. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 07: Tottenham players celebrate the third goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Tottenham Hotspur and CSKA Moscow at Wembley Stadium on December 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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.

Author: The PA Team

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