Jurgen Klopp’s men will return to European football’s elite competition next season, but could well face a difficult start to life back at the top with the liklihood of a tough draw on the horizon.
Liverpool were guaranteed to be seeded after Borussia Dortmund secured a direct route to the group stage following their victory on Saturday, and Zenit St Petersburg missed out on the competition completely.
It will be the unseeded sides however who Klopp’s side will now be turning their eye to, in hope of avoiding a fixture which could see some long-haul travelling during the early stages of the season.
Sporting Lisbon, Viktoria Plzen, CSKA Moscow, Club Brugge, Steaua Bucharest, Young Boys, Hoffenheim, Nice, Istanbul Basaksehir or Besiktas are potential candidates to face the Reds.
The competition could throw up an array of surprises which Klopp certainly would not welcome.
A reunion with former striker Mario Balotelli at Nice could be on the cards, while likewise an arduous long-distance flight to Moscow may beckon.
Ten teams enter in the third qualifying round, with the five winners going through to join the five teams who enter at the playoff round stage.
As it currently stands Sporting Lisbon are the top-ranked unseeded club in the competition, but will be seeded if Ajax win the Europa League and automatically move up to the group stage.
Potential Unseeded opponents for Liverpool
- Sporting Lisbon
- Viktoria Plzen*
- CSKA Moscow*
- Club Brugge*
- Steaua Bucharest*
- Young Boys*
- Istanbul Basaksehir
*seeding begins in the third qualifying round for these sides