Liverpool could face nightmare Europa League group as rivals Man Utd book Champions League place
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Liverpool’s place in the Europa League has been confirmed after Manchester United claimed the final Champions League spot and Jurgen Klopp’s side could be dealt a nightmare draw.
United’s 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea has confirmed Erik ten Hag’s side a place in the Champions League, and simultaneously subjected rivals Liverpool to a season in Europe’s second-tier competition.
Liverpool, who end their dismal campaign trophyless, have been tipped to make major changes to their squad in the summer, as they ready themselves for a season of Thursday night football.
And as things stand, the Merseyside club could be dealt a nightmare draw in the Europa League.
How does the Europa League draw work?
The Europa League proper begins with a group stage of 32 teams, divided into eight groups of four. Clubs from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
The draw to determine which teams go into each group is seeded based on teams' performance in UEFA competitions.
The teams are first split into four seeding pots and each group will have one team from each pot.
Pot 1 contains the UEFA Conference League winner, while the rest of the teams in each pot are determined by coefficients.
Liverpool’s potential nightmare draw
Liverpool will be on Pot 1, potentially with the likes of Juventus, Roma, Ajax, Villarreal, Leverkusen, Sporting and one of West Ham or Fiorentina, who compete in the Conference League final on June 7.
At present Pot 2 could include PSV, Olympiakos, Real Betis, Marseille, Monaco, Ferencvaros, Qarabag and Solvan Bratislava, though some of those teams are yet to have confirmed their place in the competition.
Pot 3 and 4 are hard to predict at this early juncture.
However, if each domestic league were to end at this point, Liverpool could be in a group alongside the likes of PSV Eindhoven, Freiburg and Maccabi Haifa. Such a draw would include tricky ties against two of the competition’s most highly rated sides, alongside a 6,600-mile round trip to Israel.
With that in mind, Liverpool could alternatively find themselves in a group with Azerbaijan’s Qarabag, Ludogorets Razgrad in Bulgaria, and again Maccabi Haifa.
While each of those games would be winnable for Liverpool, they include nightmare journeys that would inevitably have consequences on their domestic form.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Football, Liverpool, Manchester United, Premier League, Europa League