Liverpool set to learn of European fate with Carabao Cup draw later in the day

Liverpool set to learn of European fate with Carabao Cup draw later in the day

Liverpool will learn the dates and times of seven of their upcoming matches on Thursday, with two draws for two competitions falling on the same day.

Matt Addison

Liverpool will find out who they will face in both the Champions League group stages and the Carabao Cup third round on Thursday evening.

The Reds qualified for the Champions League on the final day of last season with a comfortable 4-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albon, who they also beat at Anfield last weekend, while they enter the Carabao Cup at the third round stage because they are in European competition.

Other Premier League teams such as Bournemouth, Leicester City and Southampton – none of whom will play European football this season – prevailed on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup against Milton Keynes Dons, Fleetwood Town and Brighton respectively.

European dates

In the Champions League, which pot Liverpool will find themselves in depends on the final qualifying matches which take place on Wednesday night.

Should Benfica get through against PAOK, Jurgen Klopp's side will be in pot three, but should the Greek side prevail, Liverpool will move up to pot two. In the first leg of that tie, Benfica were at home and the score was 1-1, giving PAOK an away goal, although the Portuguese remain favourites.

The first pot in the draw is made up of teams who won their domestic league title last season, so Manchester City, Barcelona and Juventus are among those who feature, as well as Atletico Madrid, who won the Europa League, and Real Madrid, as the current holders of the competition.

Pot two will feature the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Roma, who did not win their league but have been prominent in European competition over the last five years.

Liverpool, who reached the final of the competition last season, are not automatically in pot two because prior to last season, they had only reached the competition once – in 2014-15 – when they crashed out before the knock-out stages.

Lokomotiv Moscow, the Russian champions, will be the team everyone wants to draw from pot one as the weakest potential opponent, although a midweek trip to Russia in amongst a busy league schedule is not ideal.

The pool of teams that Liverpool could draw from pot two – should they enter pot three – is limited as they cannot face either Manchester United or Tottenham as fellow English teams. They also cannot face Manchester City, who they knocked out in the quarter-finals last season.

Each group is made up of four teams – one from each pot – with sides from the same country kept apart. The draw is set to take place in Monaco at 5pm BST.

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Domestic draw

The Carabao Cup will take place later in the evening, with Liverpool able to face any of the teams who remain in having progressed from round two, as well as any of those who enter the tournament at this point having been exempt to this stage because of European commitments.

Crystal Palace, Fulham and Stoke City were among the teams to win on Tuesday, while Everton, Newcastle United and Watford all play on Wednesday night and could join them in the draw.

Liverpool will hope for a home tie against a lower league opponent in order to allow them to make changes, potentially giving the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, who has only played eight minutes of league football this season so far, and Daniel Sturridge, who is a clear back-up for Roberto Firmino, time on the field.

At this stage of the competition last season, they crashed out to Leicester, who are the Reds' league opponents this coming weekend.

Having not won a trophy since beating Cardiff City in this competition in 2012, and with Klopp having lost all three finals he has reached with Liverpool so far, the Reds will see this as a competition they can go far in, especially with the strength in depth their squad has this season.