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2023/24 UEFA Europa Conference League Draw

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
20 December 2023, 14:28

The draw for the 2023/24 UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs took place on Monday, December 18. The participants in the draw were the teams that finished second in their UEFA Conference League groups as well as the teams that finished third in their UEFA Europa League groups. All eight play-off pairings have been determined, with the matches scheduled for February 15 and February 22.

Finally, the 2023/24 UEFA Conference League group winners have advanced straight to the round of 16 where they will be drawn against the winners of the play-off round.

2023/24 UEFA Europa Conference League Knockout Round Play-Off Pairings

Sturm Graz vs Slovan Bratislava

Sturm Graz finished third in their UEFA Europa League group, which may have been the best result possible for the Austrians as they were placed in the same group as Atalanta and Sporting CP. Slovan Bratislava will be worthy competitors, as they managed to hold Lille to a draw in their group.

Sturm Graz and Slovan Bratislava have never played each other in an official match, but the Austrians may have the edge here as they have been more involved in European competitions in recent years.

Servette vs Ludogorets Razgrad

Ludogorets Razgrad are unlucky to be in the play-off round as they were tied on points with Fenerbahce in the UEFA Conference League Group H but had a worse goal difference. Servette may not be the fiercest rival, though, as they won just one match in their UEFA Europa League group – at home over Sheriff Tiraspol. However, they also held AS Roma to a draw in late November.

Like with many pairings in the upcoming play-off round, it will be the first time that Servete and Ludogorets Razgrad face off in an official competition.

Union Saint-Gilloise vs Eintracht Frankfurt

The 2021/22 UEFA Europa League winners, Eintracht Frankfurt, now find themselves in the UEFA Conference League play-off round after finishing behind PAOK in Group G with a record of three wins and three losses. Union Saint-Gilloise are dropping down from the UEFA Europa League where they were beaten by Toulouse and Liverpool for the competition’s knockout qualification spots.

This promises to be one of the most entertaining and balanced pairings of the play-off round, with the outcome likely depending on who approached the two matches in better form.

Real Betis vs Dinamo Zagreb

Real Betis dropped down to UEFA Conference League after losing their final group stage match to Rangers at home. Even a draw would've been enough to qualify, but Rangers proved superior that night. As for Dinamo Zagreb, they were outpaced by Viktoria Plzen in Group C but had a comfortable margin over the other teams in the group.

Although both teams are often participants of various European competitions, they have never met before. Real Betis may have the better squad but Dinamo Zagreb could still take advantage of their unbalanced defence.

Olympiacos vs Ferencvaros

Olympiacos finished behind Freiburg and West Ham United in their UEFA Europa League group, which cost coach Diego Martinez his job. Incoming manager Carlos Carvalhal will now have to battle it out in the UEFA Conference League play-off round against Ferencvaros who had a decent showing in Group F but not quite enough to overtake Fiorentina.

Olympiacos and Ferencvaros went head to head in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup first round, with one draw and one win for the Hungarians.

Ajax vs Bodo/Glimt

Ajax had one of their worst periods in history at the start of the 2023/24 campaign, even sitting in the Eredivisie relegation zone at some point. However, they’ve improved massively since the arrival of new coach John van ‘t Schip and clinched the third spot in their UEFA Europa League group. Now, they will face Norwegian sensation Bodo/Glimt for one of the most exciting pairings of the play-off round.

If Ajax continue improving, they should be viewed as the favourites of this time. It will be the first such match-up in history.

Molde vs Legia Warsaw

Another Norwegian club, Molde, will take on Legia Warsaw. Molde were third in their UEFA Europa League group, perhaps surprisingly being overtaken by Qarabag for the second qualifying spot. As for Legia, they put up an amazing fight with Aston Villa and AZ in Group E, finishing just one point below the Premier League side.

Molde and Legia faced off in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League third qualification round. The two matches ended in draws, 1-1 on aggregate, and Molde advanced thanks to the away goal rule.

Maccabi Haifa vs Gent

Maccabi Haifa had a very strong group in UEFA Europa League and were expectedly overtaken by Villarreal and Rennes. Nevertheless, they managed to beat Panathinaikos to the third spot and have been paired against Gent for the UEFA Conference League play-off round. 

Maccabi Haifa and Gent have never met in an official match prior. However, the Belgians placed second behind another Israeli team, Maccabi Tel Aviv, in Group B.

2023/24 UEFA Europa Conference League Outright Winner Odds

When it comes to the UEFA Conference League winner odds, Aston Villa are the runaway favourites. Coached by Unai Emery, the Villans are having an incredible season in the Premier League, currently in the top four. It remains to be seen whether they will keep up the same good run of form in the second part of the season, though.

Fiorentina are second in the UEFA Conference League winner odds and they will certainly want revenge after being defeated in the final by West Ham United last term. Like Aston Villa, the Italians have qualified directly for the round of 16.

Eintracht Frankfurt is another solid contender as they have a recent European trophy in the cabinet. However, they will have to perform better than they did during the group stage if they want to reach another final.

Other interesting contenders include Lille and Real Betis, two teams that feature often in European competitions but rarely make it far in in the knockout rounds as they need to keep up with the domestic leagues too.

UEFA Europa Conference League WinnerPaddyPower Odds
Aston Villa3.75
Eintracht Frankfurt9.00
Real Betis13.00
Club Brugge17.00
Viktoria Plzen21.00