Home » This week the Europa League play-offs kick off – why aren’t Liverpool involved?

This week the Europa League play-offs kick off – why aren’t Liverpool involved?

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This week the Europa League play-offs kick off – why aren’t Liverpool involved?

It’s almost two months since the Europa League group stage ended away in Belgium, but the Reds still have to wait a few more weeks to get started on their spring season away from England.

Liverpool secured a place in the round of 8 of the tournament when LASK Linz were sent home with 0-4 in the bag on 30 November. This week, the Europa League playoffs are played, and in the pot are two potential matches against Jürgen Klopp’s men.

UEFA changed the rules a couple of years ago, so that the first places in each group went directly past this round. After this week’s and next week’s matches have been played, the Reds will find out their first knockout round opponent on Friday 23 February.

In that pot, there are already teams like Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham and Brighton together with Liverpool. Teams from this pot cannot meet until a possible quarter-final, so it might be good to
keep half an eye on what’s happening now on Thursday and next week.

Roma, AC Milan, Benfica and Marseille are on paper the toughest opponents, if they progress from the playoff round which will be played on 15 and 22 February.

TOUGH RESISTANCE: Xabi Alonso and Leverkusen cannot be Liverpool’s opponent in the Europa League until a possible quarter-final.

Starting tonight

Liverpool are not in the biggest European tournament this season, but what happens with Arsenal and Manchester City could have an impact on the Premier League top-flight.

Arsenal have never won the Champions League before, and will probably go all-in now that the opportunity presents itself for the first time in many years. Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are probably also very keen to win their second trophy in as many years.

Liverpool’s two closest rivals have wide and good squads, but with some injuries and a change of focus towards Europe, we can perhaps hope for a bang or two in the domestic league.

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Arsenal and Manchester City meet Porto and Copenhagen respectively in the round of 8 final. Manchester United and Newcastle went out in the group stage.

There is also another reason why Liverpool (and other English clubs) should pay extra close attention to the European tournaments this spring. Namely, two extra places in the Champions League will be awarded to the two best nations in 2023/24 (in Europe). The Premier League has such a place at the time of writing, with Italian Serie A just ahead.

You can read more about the coefficient points here.

Salah is back in full training!

Another piece of good news from AXA Training Centre.

News Yesterday 15:33 Alonso’s Leverkusen system: Will it fit in Liverpool?

Xabi Alonso has dominated the Bundesliga with his exciting tactics. The question is whether it would suit the Liverpool players if the Spaniard were to become Jürgen Klopp’s successor?

Insight Yesterday 11:37

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