The Reds are unseeded for the Europa League last-32 draw after dropping out of the Champions League, meaning Napoli and their former boss could lie in wait Liverpool will hope to avoid Napoli and a reunion with former coach Rafa Benitez in the draw for the last-32 of the Europa League in Nyon on Monday.
The Reds were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage on Tuesday following their draw with Ludogorets, meaning they drop into Europe’s second tier competition.
But despite being made immediate favourites to win the tournament by several bookmakers, Brendan Rodgers’ side will not be seeded for the draw.
Last season’s Premier League runners-up join Anderlecht, Ajax, Roma – who all exited the Champions League – in the pot of unseeded sides who finished runners-up in their Europa League group.
That means several potentially tricky ties lie in wait, including Benitez – who lifted the European Cup during his six years at Anfield – and his Napoli side, who topped Group I.
Other dangerous possible opponents include Inter, Olympiakos, Athletic Bilbao, Fiorentina and Zenit Saint Petersburg, though they will at least avoid Merseyside rivals Everton, with clubs from the same country separated until the last-16.
Europa League holders Sevilla and fellow Liga side Villarreal also find themselves in the same boat as Liverpool after finishing second in Group G and Group A respectively, while Tottenham’s defeat to Besiktas means they are likewise unseeded.
Seeded: Olympiakos, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Sporting Lisbon, Athletic Bilbao, Red Bull Salzburg, Dinamo Moscow, Everton, Inter, Fiorentina, Gladbach, Brugge, Besiktas, Legia Warsaw, Dynamo Kiev, Feyenoord, Napoli.
Unseeded: Anderlecht, Ajax, Liverpool, Villarreal, Torino, Tottenham, Celtic, PSV, Dnipro, Aalborg, Guingamp, Trabzonspor, AaB, Young Boys, Wolfsburg, Sevilla.
By: Alec Fenn
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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