Why West Ham and Liverpool are not in UEFA Europa League .

The Hammers, Liverpool and Brighton are all through to the last 16 of the Europa League having won their groups and are not involved in the play-off round draw as a result

With the group stages of the Champions league and Europa league coming to an end, attention immediately turns to the knockout phase. Two English clubs in Arsenal and Manchester City made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League, with the draw taking place today.

There is also a draw for the Europa League, with Liverpool, West Ham and Brighton all securing safe passage from their groups. However, none of those three teams will be involved in the Europa League draw which is taking place today.

But there is a good reason for that. All three English teams made it through to the knockout stages as group winners, meaning they missed out on one match in the tournament.

The group winners in the Europa League go directly through to the last 16 of the competition. The draw for which is not taking place today.

Today, the draw is being made for the knockout play-off round. That round pits the teams who finished second in their groups with the third-placed teams dropping out of the Champions league into the Europa League.

So, because the Hammers, Liverpool and the Seagulls all won their groups, supporters can rest easy today, knowing their teams are already into the last 16. The teams dropping out of the Champions League are Benfica, Braga, Feyenoord, Galatasaray, Lens, AC Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Young Boy  s. The second-placed Europa League teams are Freiburg, Marseille, Qarabağ, Rennes, Roma, Sparta Praha, Sporting CP and Toulouse.

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