Home News Liverpool facing long wait to learn 20 other Europa League opponents

Liverpool facing long wait to learn 20 other Europa League opponents

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Liverpool already know 11 of the other sides taking part in next season’s Europa League, but they won’t learn them all until the end of August.

Wednesday night saw West Ham defeat Fiorentina in the final of the Europa Conference League, joining Liverpool in the Europa League group stage.

The Hammers are one of 12 clubs now confirmed for the competition, and join the Reds in Pot 1 for the group stage draw, which will take place September 1.

AS Roma, Villarreal, Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta are also in Pot 1; Sporting CP and Rennes will be in either Pot 1 or 2; Real Betis in Pot 2 or 3; and Brighton, SC Freiburg and Toulouse in Pot 2, 3 or 4.

There remain 20 spots yet to be confirmed for the Europa League, with those qualified clubs to be placed in Pot 1, 2, 3 or 4 depending on their coefficient.

It will be a long wait before Liverpool know every club involved, though, as the qualifying rounds don’t begin until August.

Europa League qualifiers – stage by stage

NYON, SWITZERLAND - Monday, December 14, 2020: The UEFA Cup trophy on display during the UEFA Europa League 2020/21 Round of 32 draw at the UEFA Headquarters, the House of European Football. (Photo Handout/UEFA)

Third round (August 10-17)
Slavia Prague, Olympiakos and 12 Champions League second-round qualifying losers

Playoffs (August 24-31)
Ajax, LASK, Aberdeen, Cukaricki, Zorya Luhansk, Union Saint-Gilloise, Lugano, seven third-round winners and six Champions League third-round qualifying losers

The next stage will be the third qualifying round, which will include 14 teams, with 11 of those as yet unknown as they will be the losers of the second round of Champions League qualifiers through the ‘champions path’.

Those guaranteed to be in that second round at present are Dinamo Zagreb, FC Copenhagen, Galatasaray, Molde and Aris Limassol.

Slavia Prague and Olympiakos are the only two clubs currently confirmed for the Europa League‘s third qualifying round at present.

They will play the two losers of the Champions League second qualifying round from the ‘league path’, which includes Genk, SC Dnipro-1, Servette and Panathinaikos.

The seven winners from the third qualifying round will then join 13 other clubs in the playoffs, with the winners of those 20 two-legged ties entering the group stage.

Ajax, LASK, Union Saint-Gilloise, Zorya Luhansk, Aberdeen, Cukaricki and Lugano are already confirmed for the playoff round.

Jurgen Klopp, Krawietz, Lijnders - Wolves defeat, 2023 (Image: Andrew Yates / Sportimage)

Those 10 winners will join the 12 clubs already confirmed for the group stage along with the six losers from the Champions League playoffs and four ‘league path’ losers from the Champions League third qualifying round.

Young Boys and Royal Antwerp are both already guaranteed a place in the Champions League playoffs, while the third qualifying round includes Rangers, SC Braga, PSV Eindhoven, Marseille, Sturm Graz and TSC on the ‘league path’.

In short, Liverpool won’t know the final 20 clubs in the group stage of the Europa League until full-time on August 31.

The draw will then be held on September 1, with the opening group games taking place on September 21.

Jurgen Klopp and his players do, at least, already know that they cannot be drawn against any of Roma, Villarreal, Leverkusen, Atalanta, West Ham or Brighton in the group stage.