In mid-February 2022, the knockout stages of the Champions League and Europa League will get under way with 16 teams left in the Champions League, and 24 remaining in the Europa League hoping for a taste of glory come May.
With several big-name teams from the Champions League dropping into the Europa League in the New Year, including Spanish giants Barcelona and Sevilla, German sides Red Bull Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund and the exciting Italians Atalanta, it promises to be a very exciting knockout phase in both competitions.
In this article, we are going to look at the latest odds on the teams still remaining in each competition, a look at how the draw for the next round of the competition looks and finally, give you our tips for the two teams that will make it through to the showpiece finals in May this year.
Then, when we reach those finals, we will check back and see just how our predictions have panned out!
All odds supplied are courtesy of bet365 Sport and were correct before the knockout phase of the competitions began, but of course these odds will change as we progress through each competition.
Last year’s finals saw a heavy Premier League representation with Chelsea beating Manchester City in the Champions League Final, while in the Europa League, Manchester United were defeated by Spanish team Villarreal on penalties.
What will the culmination of the 2021/22 competitions bring? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Champions League – Who Remains In The Competition
The draw for the Round of 16 in the Champions League was made back in December and it has thrown together some very interesting ties, the first legs of which will be played on the 15th & 16th and 22nd and 23rd February.
The second legs of each tie will be played on the 8th and 9th and 15th and 16th March.
The full fixture list is outlined below:
Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg Ties
Tuesday 15th February
- Paris St Germain v Real Madrid
- Sporting Lisbon v Manchester City
Wednesday 16th February
- Inter Milan v Liverpool
- Red Bull Salzburg v Bayern Munich
Tuesday 22nd February
- Villarreal v Juventus
- Chelsea v Lille
Wednesday 23rd February
- Atletico Madrid v Manchester United
- Benfica v Ajax
Champions League Round of 16 2d Leg Ties
Tuesday 8th March
- Bayern Munich v Red Bull Salzburg
- Liverpool v Inter Milan
Wednesday 9th March
- Manchester City v Sporting Lisbon
- Real Madrid v Paris St Germain
Tuesday 15th March
- Ajax v Benfica
- Manchester United v Atletico Madrid
Wednesday 16th March
- Lille v Chelsea
- Juventus v Villarreal
There are a number of huge games in this round of matches this year with the PSG v Real Madrid tie a real standout as both teams will feel they have a genuine chance of winning the tournament this year.
Other big games include Liverpool facing Inter Milan and Manchester United taking on Atletico Madrid in two big games for the Premier League sides, while the Ajax v Benfica clash looks well matched.
After this round is completed, the 8 winning teams will have an unseeded draw for the quarterfinals and semifinals, where they could be drawn to face any other opponent remaining in the competition.
That is when the route to the final becomes more apparent.
Champions League Final Details
- Date – 28th May 2022
- Venue – Gazprom Arena, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Kick Off – 8pm UK Time
The home of Zenit St Petersburg will host the 2022 Champions League Final, the 67,800 capacity stadium was used as one of the venues for the 2018 World Cup Finals and the host team is a former Europa League winner back in 2007-08, also winning the Super Cup in 2008.
Who Will Reach Saint Petersburg?
It’s hard to pick two teams to reach the final as they could be drawn against each other in the quarter finals or semi finals, but if pushed, the two I’d pick to contest the final if they were drawn apart would be Manchester City and Bayern Munich, with Liverpool and perhaps even Ajax as outside chances.
City are the 11/4 favourites to win the tournament, with Bayern 7/2, Liverpool 5/1 and Ajax 14/1.
Europa League – Who Remains In The Competition?
The draw for the Europa League next phase was made back in December but due to 24 teams remaining in this competition, there is a slightly different set up used in the Europa League to cope with those extra teams.
What we will have first is a 16-team playoff round featuring the 8 teams that finished second in their Europa League groups, along with the 8 teams that dropped down into this competition from the Champions League.
The winners of these two-legged ties then go on to face one of the eight teams that won their Europa League group in the Round of 16 proper. The draw for the Round of 16 in the Europa League takes place on Friday 25th February.
The playoff ties and Round of 16 seeded teams are shown below
Europa League Playoffs 1st Leg
Thursday 17th February
- Sheriff Tiraspol v Braga (5.45pm)
- Borussia Dortmund v Rangers (5.45pm)
- Zenit St Petersburg v Real Betis (5.45pm)
- Barcelona v Napoli (5.45pm)
- FC Porto v Lazio (8pm)
- Red Bull Leipzig v Real Sociedad (8pm)
- Atalanta v Olympiacos (8pm)
- Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb (8pm)
Europa League Playoffs 2nd Leg
Thursday 24th February
- Lazio v FC Porto (5.45pm)
- Real Sociedad v Red Bull Leipzig (5.45pm)
- Olympiacos v Atalanta (5.45pm)
- Dinamo Zagreb v Sevilla (5.45pm)
- Braga v Sheriff Tiraspol (8pm)
- Rangers v Borussia Dortmund (8pm)
- Real Betis v Zenit St Petersburg (8pm)
- Napoli v Barcelona (8pm)
Europa League Round of 16 Seeded
Matches to be played on March 10th and March 17th. Draw to be made 25th February.
- Red Star Belgrade
- Eintracht Frankfurt
- Bayer Leverkusen
- Spartak Moscow
- West Ham United
The teams in the playoff stages will have to play two extra games to reach the quarterfinals, which does hand the seeded teams an advantage in my view. Although I do feel there are some top quality teams now in this competition as we head into the knockout phase.
There are a number of cracking games with the Lazio v FC Porto, Rangers v Borussia Dortmund and Betis v Zenit games really intriguing, but the biggest games is undoubtedly the clash between Napoli and Barcelona, two of the favourites to win the trophy.
There’s still an awful lot of football to be played before we even get to the quarterfinal stage of this competition, but as with the Champions League, it is at this point that the road to the final in Seville becomes more clear.
Europa League Final Details
- Date – 18th May 2022
- Venue – Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, Seville, Spain
- Kick Off – 8pm UK Time
The home of the most successful Europa League/UEFA Cup team in history, Sevilla, will be the host of the 2022 final, giving the Spanish side a chance to land their seventh win in the competition on home soil.
Who Will Reach Seville?
Given their record in this competition and that this year’s final is at home, I don’t think you can look past Seville here. The Spanish side are doing well in La Liga too, so their good form is no fluke.
Much will depend on how the draws for the Round of 16 and then the quarter and semi finals pan out as teams could be drawn against each other, but along with Sevilla, I think Lyon are a talented team, while Napoli and Red Bull Leipzig are two others that could feature.
I am not sold on Barcelona and I feel they may even struggle to get past Napoli.
So as such, my two tips here would be Seville and Lyon, but I think Napoli and Red Bull Leipzig could be close.
Dortmund are the 11/2 favourites at present with bet365 but Sevilla are 7/1, Lyon and Leipzig 14/1 with Napoli a 16/1 chance.