SC Freiburg there: Intermediate round in the Europa League – who will reach the round of 16?

As of: February 14, 2024 1:03 p.m

Bayer Leverkusen takes a breather, but SC Freiburg has to play: The Europa League is in the intermediate round with eight games. Who is there? Who has the best chance of reaching the round of 16?

The bloated mode of the Europa League wants it like this: Before the round of 16 goes on, 16 teams compete against each other in an intermediate round, the so-called playoffs. The eight third-placed teams in the Champions League group phase and the eight runners-up in the Europa League group phase qualify for this.

The group leaders of the Europa League, including Bayer Leverkusen, are already in the round of 16, which will take place from March 7th with the first legs.

The aim of the round of 16 is also the route for the second German representative, SC Freiburg. The Breisgauers have to solve the difficult task with the French representative RC Lens, who played a good preliminary round in the premier class and narrowly failed with eight points collected against FC Arsenal (13) and PSV Eindhoven (9). The Streich team is likely to go into this duel against Lens as underdogs.

Playoffs overview arrow right

Benfica favorite against Toulouse

The second French representative, Stade Rennes, has to deal with one of the top players in this intermediate round, AC Milan. Teams from Portugal are represented in the playoffs three times, including Benfica Lisbon with German coach Roger Schmidt.

The Portuguese champions, narrowly eliminated by Inter Milan in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last year, face FC Toulouse, currently only 14th in Ligue 1. Also from Portugal: Sporting Lisbon and Sporting Braga.

Germany is also represented once again, but only as a venue: in the Hambuger Volkspark Stadium, Shakhtar Donetsk is once again a guest in the Hanseatic city due to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and will meet Olympique Marseille there.

First leg, Thursday, 6:45 p.m

Feyenoord Rotterdam – AS Rom
Galatasaray Istanbul – Sparta Praha
Shakhtar Donetsk – Olympia Marseille
Young Boys Bern – Sporting CP

First leg, Thursday, 9 p.m

Benfica Lisbon – FC Toulouse AC Milan – Stade Rennes RC Lens – SC Freiburg Sporting Braga – Karabakh

Völler: “Bayer can win three titles”

Only after this intermediate round will the round of 16 continue, and DFB sports director Rudi Völler has already set the tone. “I am sure that Bayer can win at least one, if not two or three titles,” said Völler. Three titles – that would mean that the Werkself would take home the Europa League trophy in addition to the championship and the DFB Cup.

But there is a long way to go until then, and Liverpool FC is also standing in the way. Liverpool against Leverkusen in the Europa League final doesn’t sound bad at least. The round of 16 will be drawn on February 23rd, 12 p.m., the day after the second round, at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon.

Qualified for the round of 16

Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) FC Liverpool (England) Atalanta Bergamo (Italy) Glasgow Rangers (Scotland) West Ham United (England) FC Villareal (Spain) Brighton & Hove Albion (England)


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