2017–18 UEFA Europa League
29 June – 24 August 2017
14 September 2017 – 16 May 2018
||Competition proper: 48+8
Total: 157+33 (from 55 associations)
||545 (2.73 per match)
||4,275,243 (21,376 per match)
|| Aritz Aduriz
(8 goals each)
The 2017–18 UEFA Europa League is the 47th season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 9th season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League.
The final will be played at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Décines-Charpieu, France.
The winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League will automatically qualify for the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League group stage, and also earn the right to play against the winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League in the 2018 UEFA Super Cup.
Manchester United qualified for the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League as the title holders of Europa League. They are unable to defend their title as they qualified for the Champions League knockout phase.
Association team allocation
A total of 190 teams from all 55 UEFA member associations participate in the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:
- Associations 1–51 (except Liechtenstein) each have three teams qualify.
- Associations 52–54 each have two teams qualify.
- Liechtenstein and Kosovo (association 55) each have one team qualify (Liechtenstein organises only a domestic cup and no domestic league; Kosovo as per decision by the UEFA Executive Committee).
- Moreover, 33 teams eliminated from the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League are transferred to the Europa League.
Starting from this season, Gibraltar are granted two spots instead of one in the Europa League. Kosovo, who became a UEFA member on 3 May 2016, made their debut in the UEFA Europa League.
For the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2016 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2011–12 to 2015–16.
Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Europa League, as noted below:
- (UCL) – Additional teams transferred from the UEFA Champions League
- (UEL) – Vacated berth due to UEFA Europa League title holders playing in UEFA Champions League
In the default access list, Manchester United enter the group stage (as the sixth-placed team of the 2016–17 Premier League). However, since they qualified for the Champions League as the Europa League title holders, the spot which they qualified for in the Europa League group stage is vacated, and the following changes to the default allocation system are made:
- The domestic cup winners of association 13 (Czech Republic) are promoted from the third qualifying round to the group stage.
- The domestic cup winners of association 18 (Poland) are promoted from the second qualifying round to the third qualifying round.
- The domestic cup winners of associations 25 and 26 (Scotland and Azerbaijan) are promoted from the first qualifying round to the second qualifying round.
||Teams entering in this round
||Teams advancing from previous round
||Teams transferred from Champions League
|First qualifying round
- 29 domestic cup winners from associations 27–55
- 36 domestic league runners-up from associations 18–54 (except Liechtenstein)
- 35 domestic league third-placed teams from associations 16–51 (except Liechtenstein)
|Second qualifying round
- 8 domestic cup winners from associations 19–26
- 2 domestic league runners-up from associations 16–17
- 6 domestic league fourth-placed teams from associations 10–15
- 50 winners from first qualifying round
|Third qualifying round
- 5 domestic cup winners from associations 14–18
- 9 domestic league third-placed teams from associations 7–15
- 5 domestic league fourth-placed teams from associations 5–9
- 3 domestic league fifth-placed teams from associations 4–6 (League Cup winners for France)
- 3 domestic league sixth-placed teams from associations 1–3 (League Cup winners for England)
- 33 winners from second qualifying round
- 29 winners from third qualifying round
- 15 losers from Champions League third qualifying round
- 13 domestic cup winners from associations 1–13
- 1 domestic league fourth-placed team from association 4
- 3 domestic league fifth-placed teams from associations 1–3
- −1 Europa League title holders
- 22 winners from play-off round
- 10 losers from Champions League play-off round
- 12 group winners from group stage
- 12 group runners-up from group stage
- 8 third-placed teams from Champions League group stage
A Europa League place is vacated when a team qualifies for both the Champions League and the Europa League, or qualifies for the Europa League by more than one method. When a place is vacated, it is redistributed within the national association by the following rules (regulations Articles 3.03 and 3.04):
- When the domestic cup winners (considered as the "highest-placed" qualifier within the national association with the latest starting round) also qualify for the Champions League, their Europa League place is vacated. As a result, the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions qualify for the Europa League, with the Europa League qualifiers which finish above them in the league moved up one "place".
- When the domestic cup winners also qualify for the Europa League through league position, their place through the league position is vacated. As a result, the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions qualify for the Europa League, with the Europa League qualifiers which finish above them in the league moved up one "place" if possible.
- For associations where a Europa League place is reserved for either the League Cup or end-of-season European competition play-offs winners, they always qualify for the Europa League as the "lowest-placed" qualifier. If the League Cup winners have already qualified for European competitions through other methods, this reserved Europa League place is taken by the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions.
The labels in the parentheses show how each team qualified for the place of its starting round:
- CW: Cup winners
- 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.: League position
- LC: League Cup winners
- RW: Regular season winners
- PW: End-of-season European competition play-offs winners
- UCL: Transferred from the Champions League
- GS: Third-placed teams from the group stage
- PO: Losers from the play-off round
- Q3: Losers from the third qualifying round
Notably two teams take part in the competition that are not playing in their national top division, Tirana (2nd tier) and Vaduz (representing Liechtenstein, playing in Swiss 2nd tier).
- ^ Bulgaria (BUL): On 29 May 2017 a UEFA letter to the Bulgarian Football Union declared that CSKA Sofia, the runners-up of the 2016–17 First Professional Football League, were not allowed to compete in the Europa League as they were considered to have been re-formed as a new club and thus did not pass the "three-year rule". As this decision was appealed by CSKA Sofia, the Bulgarian Football Union granted a license to them subject to legal proceedings. A few hours prior to the Europa League first qualifying round draw, UEFA replaced them with Dunav Ruse, the fourth-placed team of the league.
- ^ Kosovo (KOS): Besa Pejë would have qualified for the Europa League first qualifying round as the winners of the 2016–17 Kosovar Cup, but failed to obtain a UEFA license. As a result, the berth was given to the runners-up of the 2016–17 Football Superleague of Kosovo, Prishtina.
- ^ Malta (MLT): Birkirkara would have qualified for the Europa League first qualifying round as the third-placed team of the 2016–17 Maltese Premier League, but failed to obtain a UEFA licence. As a result, the berth was given to the fourth-placed team of the league, Valletta.
- ^ Republic of Ireland (IRL): Derry City are a club based in Northern Ireland, but will participate in the Europa League through one of the berths for the Republic of Ireland (any coefficient points they earn count toward Republic of Ireland and not Northern Ireland).
- ^ Romania (ROU): Voluntari would have qualified for the Europa League third qualifying round as the winners of 2016–17 Cupa României, and CFR Cluj would have qualified for the second qualifying round as the fourth-placed team of the 2016–17 Liga I, but both failed to obtain a UEFA licence. As a result, the third qualifying round berth was given to the fifth-placed team of the league, Universitatea Craiova, and the second qualifying round berth was given to the sixth-placed team of the league, Astra Giurgiu.
Round and draw dates
The schedule of the competition is as follows (all draws are held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).
||First qualifying round
||19 June 2017
||29 June 2017
||6 July 2017
|Second qualifying round
||13 July 2017
||20 July 2017
|Third qualifying round
||14 July 2017
||27 July 2017
||3 August 2017
||4 August 2017
||17 August 2017
||24 August 2017
||25 August 2017
|14 September 2017
||28 September 2017
||19 October 2017
||2 November 2017
||23 November 2017
||7 December 2017
||Round of 32
||11 December 2017
||15 February 2018
||22 February 2018
|Round of 16
||23 February 2018
||8 March 2018
||15 March 2018
||16 March 2018
||5 April 2018
||12 April 2018
||13 April 2018
||26 April 2018
||3 May 2018
||16 May 2018 at Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Décines-Charpieu
Matches in the qualifying, play-off, and knockout rounds may also be played on Tuesdays or Wednesdays instead of the regular Thursdays due to scheduling conflicts.
In the qualifying rounds and the play-off round, teams are divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2017 UEFA club coefficients, and then drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
First qualifying round
The draw for the first qualifying round was held on 19 June 2017, 13:00 CEST. The first legs were played on 29 June, and the second legs were played on 4 and 6 July 2017.
- ^ a b c d e f Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Second qualifying round
The draw for the second qualifying round was held on 19 June 2017, 14:30 CEST (after the completion of the first qualifying round draw). The first legs were played on 12 and 13 July, and the second legs were played on 20 July 2017.
- ^ a b c Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Third qualifying round
The draw for the third qualifying round was held on 14 July 2017, 13:00 CEST. The first legs were played on 27 July, and the second legs were played on 2 and 3 August 2017.
- ^ Order of legs reversed after original draw.
The draw for the play-off round was held on 4 August 2017, 13:00 CEST. The first legs were played on 16 and 17 August, and the second legs were played on 24 August 2017.
- ^ a b Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Location of teams of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League
Red: Group A;
Yellow: Group B;
Green: Group C;
Dark Green: Group D;
Purple: Group E;
Pink: Group F;
Blue: Group G;
Orange: Group H;
Brown: Group I;
Deep pink: Group J;
Cyan: Group K;
Spring green: Group L.
The draw for the group stage was held on 25 August 2017, 13:00 CEST, at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The 48 teams were drawn into twelve groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other. For the draw, the teams were seeded into four pots based on their 2017 UEFA club coefficients.
In each group, teams played against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The group winners and runners-up advanced to the round of 32, where they were joined by the eight third-placed teams of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League group stage. The matchdays were 14 September, 28 September, 19 October, 2 November, 23 November, and 7 December 2017.
A total of 29 national associations were represented in the group stage. Arsenal, Atalanta, Fastav Zlín, 1899 Hoffenheim, İstanbul Başakşehir, 1. FC Köln, Lugano, Milan, Östersund, Real Sociedad, Red Star Belgrade, Vardar and Vitesse made their debut appearances in the UEFA Europa League group stage (although Milan and Red Star Belgrade had appeared in the UEFA Cup group stage). Vardar were the first team from Macedonia to play in either the Champions League or Europa League group stage.
Teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria were applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings (Regulations Articles 16.01):
- Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- Away goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
- Goal difference in all group matches;
- Goals scored in all group matches;
- Away goals scored in all group matches;
- Wins in all group matches;
- Away wins in all group matches;
- Disciplinary points (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
- UEFA club coefficient.
- ^ a b Head-to-head results: Sheriff Tiraspol 0–0 Copenhagen, Copenhagen 2–0 Sheriff Tiraspol.
- ^ a b Head-to-head results: Östersund 2–2 Athletic Bilbao, Athletic Bilbao 1–0 Östersund.
In the knockout phase, teams play against each other over two legs on a home-and-away basis, except for the one-match final. The mechanism of the draws for each round is as follows:
- In the draw for the round of 32, the twelve group winners and the four third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage with the better group records are seeded, and the twelve group runners-up and the other four third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage are unseeded. The seeded teams are drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
- In the draws for the round of 16 onwards, there are no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association can be drawn against each other.
Round of 32
The draw for the round of 32 was held on 11 December 2017, 13:00 CET. The first legs were played on 13 and 15 February, and the second legs were played on 21 and 22 February 2018.
Round of 16
The draw for the round of 16 was held on 23 February 2018, 13:00 CET. The first legs were played on 8 March, and the second legs were played on 15 March 2018.
The draw for the quarter-finals was held on 16 March 2018, 13:00 CET. The first legs were played on 5 April, and the second legs were played on 12 April 2018.
The draw for the semi-finals was held on 13 April 2018, 12:00 CEST. The first legs will be played on 26 April, and the second legs will be played on 3 May 2018.
The final will be played at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Décines-Charpieu on 16 May 2018. The "home" team (for administrative purposes) was determined by an additional draw held after the semi-final draw.
|Winners of semi-final 1
|| Winners of semi-final 2
Statistics exclude qualifying rounds and play-off round.
Note: Players and teams in bold are still active in the competition.
- As of 12 April 2018 
- As of 12 April 2018