UEFA Europa League trophy

The Road To Seville – The 2021/22 UEFA Europa League

Leicester City will compete in the UEFA Europa League in 2021/22 - the first time the Club has featured in consecutive European campaigns.
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The Foxes, who finished fifth in the Premier League last term, enjoyed victories over SC Braga, Zorya Luhansk and AEK Athens in 2020/21 en route to the Round of 32 during their maiden campaign in the competition since its reformation in 2009.

Running between 5 August, 2021 and 18 May, 2022, the tournament winners will qualify for the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League. The introduction of the UEFA Europa Conference League, however, means significant alterations to the format will come into play this upcoming season.

Ahead of the new campaign, the Club's sixth in Europe, here's what we know...

What are the changes?

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King Power Stadium
King Power Stadium

The 2020/21 season was the Foxes' first in the UEFA Europa League in its current format.

The Europa League's group stage is set to be reduced from 48 to 32 teams, featuring eight groups of four teams. As has previously been the case, the eight group winners will progress to the knockout stage, but now head straight into the Round of 16.

An additional knockout round, prior to the Round of 16, will see eight group runners-up face eight third-ranked teams in the UEFA Champions League. Third-ranked teams in the Europa League groups, on the other hand, will join the newly-formed Europa Conference League.

Matches will continue to be played on Thursday (apart from the final) alongside Europa Conference League games.

Explaining the group stage...

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UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa League

Spanish side Villarreal won the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League, beating Manchester United in the final.

Although reduced to 32 teams, the Foxes will nevertheless still join 11 other automatic qualifiers for the group stage, including two sides each from England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy. One team also joins from Portugal and Russia respectively. 

Another 10 Europa League play-off winners and 10 sides transferring from the Champions League play-offs and third qualifying round complete the list. This list is subject to final confirmation from UEFA.

When are the matches?

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Leicester qualified for the knockout stages of the competition last term with two games to spare.

Europa League fixtures in 2021/22 will be played on the following dates...

Group stage

16 September, 2021 – Matchday 1
30 September, 2021 – Matchday 2
21 October, 2021 – Matchday 3
4 November, 2021 – Matchday 4
25 November, 2021 – Matchday 5
9 December, 2021 – Matchday 6

Knockout stages

17/24 February, 2022 – Knockout round play-offs
10/17 March, 2022 – Round of 16
7/14 April, 2022 – Quarter-finals
28 April/5 May, 2022 – Semi-finals
18 May, 2022 – Final

The final will be at FC Sevilla's Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, a venue the Foxes last visited in 2017.

When's the draw?

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Foxes players watch UEFA Europa League draw
Foxes players watch UEFA Europa League draw

Members of the Club's first team squad watch on as the draw it made for last season's group stage.

Brendan Rodgers' men will discover their group stage opponents on 27 August, 2021 - and you can find out who they'll face first on LCFC.com.

Other draw dates are as follows...

13 December, 2021 – Knockout round play-offs
25 February, 2022 – Round of 16
18 March, 2022 – Quarter-finals & semi-finals

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