Tom Burchill stresses just how important it is that Jürgen Klopp’s old club gets three points at the Signal Iduna Park.
Last week’s fixtures mean that Liverpool are on course for fourth position this season providing they beat Middlesbrough at home tomorrow. There is still a slight chance that Liverpool could still finish third but that would require us to beat Boro by a four-goal margin and Manchester City to draw away to Watford.
Could that happen? Unlikely. Watford has lost their last five games in the Premier League.
Let’s just say that we do beat Middlesbrough and we secure fourth spot. Liverpool and nine other teams will be entered in the playoff qualifier. Five of these teams will later grace the Champions League group stages while the other five will be destined for Europa League football.
The way that it works is five of these clubs will come from England, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal whereas the rest will have battled through the Third Qualifying Round.
They are then split into two categories of five seeded and five non-seeded teams. Whether or not you are seeded is based on your UEFA coefficient points which is set by your recent performance in European competitions. Despite our illustrious history, ours is not great.
In terms of the bigger clubs that could be in the round we currently sit sixth:
- Borussia Dortmund (124.899)
- Sevilla (112.771)
- Napoli (88.499)
- Zenit (87.106)
- Dynamo Kiev (67.526)
- Liverpool (56.021)
In order for Liverpool to become seeded, we would need one of the teams above us to automatically qualify through their domestic league. The best chance of this happening is if Borussia Dortmund finishes third in the Bundesliga.
Currently, Dortmund are in third position, however, they are level on points with Hoffenheim with only a goal difference of four separating the two. Dortmund play Werder Bremen today in a 2:30pm off where a victory should be enough to seal entrance into the group stage.
Even prior to Klopp joining Liverpool there were always comparisons drawn between our two clubs. Some fans even referred to us as sister clubs. It seems that this weekend our fates have been forged together once again.
Failing that, though, all hope would not be lost and instead, Liverpool fans would turn their attention to Serie A. Roma is currently in second while Napoli trail by a point in the third placed qualifier position. Roma currently has a coefficient score of 53.566 meaning should Napoli finish above them, Liverpool would be seeded over them. Roma plays Chievo away this afternoon.
In Russia, the Reds will be hoping that CSKA Moscow can hold onto second for the final game of the season as they welcome 12th place Anji. A win at home for CSKA would mean that Zenit doesn’t quite make the plane. Zenit is one point behind with one game to go and another league looks to go right to the wire.
To summarise the above, we need Dortmund to do us a favour, Roma to drop points or CSKA Moscow to stand strong in the East as we approach the end of another dramatic season. Top four in Klopp’s first full season would be a great achievement but only providing we got through to the group stage of the Champions League.
All we can do now is beat Boro and hope results go our way. Shock that we’re relying on other teams.