England’s most successful team in Europe, in recent years the Reds have made their way to the Champions League finals or fought for Premier League titles as they finished their season in the limelight .
But now that their campaign is over, this time they will be sidelined as three of their rivals fight for European glory instead.
Manchester United face Villarreal in the Europa League final on Wednesday before Man City and Chelsea get stuck in the Champions League final on Saturday.
Under normal circumstances Liverpool would look reluctantly with envy. But this year, both games could have a direct impact on the Reds’ fortunes next season.
Must-see news from Liverpool FC
Champions League winners in 2019 and Premier League champions in 2020, Jurgen Klopp’s men were guaranteed a place in the first pot in the continental competition the following year.
But, having finished third and already out of Europe, they will have to settle for a place in the second pot next season.
As a result, the winners of the Champions League and Europa League finals could help determine how difficult a group draw at Liverpool is.
Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Lille and Sporting Lisbon have already booked their places in the first pot for next season as national champions, and will be joined by the League winners. of the champions and the Europa League this year.
As a result, Chelsea and Manchester United could end up in the first pot if they win the Champions League and Europa League respectively, while Zenit St. Petersburg are likely to step up if it’s Pep Guardiola’s side that emerge triumphant. in the first.
With sides from the same country unable to compete in the Champions League group stage, Liverpool find themselves in the unusual position of wanting Man City to be crowned European champions as a result, as well as feeling rather more familiar with wishing defeat over Manchester United and Chelsea.
You’ll also get the latest transfer discussions and analytics every day for FREE!
Register here – it only takes a few seconds!
If Man City are the only England side in the first pot, then the Reds will face Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Lille, Sporting Lisbon, Zenit St Petersburg and Villarreal next season.
Bayern are arguably the most formidable of those opponents, ahead of Atletico and Inter, but the Reds would love their chances of a draw.
However, if Chelsea and / or Manchester United joined Man City in the first pot, Liverpool would be more likely to face Bayern, for example, due to the reduced number of sides they would be eligible against.
These may be only small margins and Klopp’s side will back themselves against any opposition, provided they avoid the injuries that have decimated his side this season.
But that doesn’t prevent the fact that a one in five chance of being a draw against mighty Bayern Munich is rather unattractive compared to the prospect of one in seven.