Liverpool’s possible group stage opponents for the Europa League just became clearer after the latest round of qualifying, but there is still one final play-off.
It is a season of Thursday night football for Liverpool, and that means Sunday action in the Premier League will follow – and it all kicks off in less than five weeks time.
It is not where the Reds want to be nor where they belong, but it is hand they dealt themselves.
And now their possible group stage opponents have become clearer after the completion of the third qualifying round, and now there is only a two-legged play-off until all teams for the group stage are locked in.
Here, we look at our possible opponents and who we cannot face…
Possible group stage opponents
Here, we are looking at teams who have already qualified for the group stage but are not seeded in Pot 1 and, therefore, can be Liverpool’s opponents, they are:
Sporting CP, Rennes, Real Betis, Marseille, Freiburg, Sturm Graz, Toulouse, Servette, TSC Backa Topola
Teams Liverpool will NOT face in group stage
Unlike the abovementioned teams, this list includes those who will also be seeded in Pot 1 alongside Liverpool, and, therefore, cannot be drawn against them in the group stage:
West Ham, Roma, Villarreal, Bayer Leverkusen, Atalanta – Note: Ajax will join this list if they win their play-off.
These are the clubs, plus those that drop down from the Champions League, that Liverpool could face in the knockout rounds.
The final contenders in the play-offs
The final stages of qualifying loom and the winners of these two-leg ties will advance to the group stage, the losers will drop into the Europa Conference league.
So, Liverpool’s possible group opponents include the winners from these ties:
Slavia Prague vs. Zorya Luhansk
Olympiacos vs. Cukaricki
Union Saint-Gilloise vs. Lugano
Ludogorets vs. Ajax
BK Hacken vs. Aberdeen
LASK vs. Zrinjski Mostar
Klaksvikar Itrottarfelag vs. Sheriff Tiraspol
Olimpija Ljubljana vs. Qarabag
Slovan Bratislava vs. Aris Limassol
TBD vs. Sparta Prague
The first legs are played on August 24 and the second legs on August 31.
When are the group stage matchdays?
Matchday 1: Sept 21
Matchday 2: Oct 5
Matchday 3: Oct 26
Matchday 4: Nov 9
Matchday 5: Nov 30
Matchday 6: Dec 14
The group stage draw takes place on September 1.