Who can Liverpool face in the Champions League playoff?


Liverpool secured their route to the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2014 with a 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool are in a favourable position to return to Europe’s elite stage after failing to qualify for the Champions League in six of the last eight seasons.

Their work isn’t over yet, though, as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds must qualify via a two-legged playoff if they hope to entertain thoughts of trips to the Santiago Bernabeu or Allianz Arena next season.

The Reds will enter the qualification phase at the final round, meaning a victory over two legs will be enough to guarantee them a spot in the group stages of the competition.

4th placed teams in La Liga and the German Bundesliga also join Liverpool in the final round, as do the 3rd placed sides from Italy’s Serie A and Portugal’s Primeira Liga.

Several European leagues are yet to finish, meaning the following list is unconfirmed, but these will nonetheless be the list of teams Liverpool could possibly face in the playoff for the Champions League (all sides listed enter at the third round of qualifying, barring Sporting CP and Hoffenheim):

Sporting CP*, Viktoria Plzen, CSKA Moscow, Club Brugge, Steaua Bucharest, Young Boys, Hoffenheim, Nice, Istanbul Basaksehir/Besiktas, PAOK/Panathinaikos.

*If Ajax win the Europa League Final, they go straight to the Champions League group stage. This would remove them from the current group of seeded teams and bump Sporting from unseeded to seeded, meaning they would not be able to play Liverpool.

The list of seeded teams, or other sides Liverpool cannot face in the playoffs, is:

Sevilla, Napoli/Roma, Dynamo Kiev, Ajax.

The first leg will take place on the 15th and 16th of August, with the return legs coming one week later on the 22nd and 23rd.


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