UEFA Champions League & UEFA Cup Knock Out Stage Draw

Profiling the 10 Potential Opponents Liverpool Might Face in Champions League Qualification

After a roller-coaster season which had Liverpool fans dreaming of the title in the first-half of the campaign, to a nerve-wracking second-half of the season, the Reds main objective was achieved when they successfully secured a Champions League place at the conclusion of the Premier League season.


Jurgen Klopp guided the club to a fourth place finish in his first full season in charge of the Reds, where Liverpool now face a two-leg qualifying tie in August to confirm their position in next seasons Champions League group stage. Following the end of the domestic season across Europe, the Reds have now secured a seeded position in the Champions League qualification pot, where the draw will take place on August 4 with the games played on either August 16 or 17, and the second-leg a week later on August 23 or 24. 


With the third-round qualifier yet to take place, here are ten of Liverpool's potential opponents for their Champions League play-off tie... 

10. Steaua Bucharest (Romania)

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Steaua Bucharest have spent their entire history in the top tier of Romanian football and finished the campaign in second, for the second year in a row, behind Viitorul.


The 1986 European Cup winners reportedly have the largest number of supporters of any team in Romania and boast the most impressive pedigree in Romanian football - domestically winning the league 26 times alongside 22 national cups and six national super cups. 


The club have failed to successfully qualify for the competitions group stages for the last three seasons, most recently succumbing to Manchester City in the play-off last season. 

9. Young Boys (Switzerland)

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Young Boys finished second in the Swiss Super League behind FC Basel, who eased to the title by a whopping 17 points. The Swiss side scored the second most goals in the league (72) and had the second lowest goals conceded (44).    


The club have failed to qualify for the group stages for the last ten seasons, and last season they fell in the final qualifying round to Borussia Mochengladbach.

8. Club Brugge (Belgium)

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Club Brugge is one of the most decorated clubs in Belgian football, winning the league on 14 occasions and reaching two European cup finals; the club finished second this season in Belgium's First Division, two points behind Anderlecht.


The Belgian side qualified for the competitions group stages this season - the first time since 2005/06 - where they were drawn in the same group as Leicester City. 


The two clubs have European history, which favours the Reds as the meeting in 1976 led to a UEFA Cup victory for Liverpool and the 1978 final secured the second of the Reds subsequent five European Cups. 

7. AEK Athens (Greece)

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AEK Athens is one of the biggest and most historical clubs in Greece, and following a fourth placed finish in the Superleague Greece standings, AEK Athens secured their place in the qualifiers by topping a four-team mini-league.


A successful qualifying campaign would see the club feature in the Champions League for the first time in a decade.

6. Istanbul BB (Turkey)

Trabzonspor AS v Istanbul BB SK - Turkish Super League

Istanbul BB is one of five Super Lig clubs to represent Istanbul, and this season is the club's eight consecutive campaign in the top flight of Turkish football despite being only 27 years into their existence. 


The club finished the season in second place behind champions Besiktas by four points, and had a comfortable nine point lead ahead of rivals, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray. 


Istanbull BB has previously qualified for a Europa League play-off but failed to make it past the qualifiers, and this is the club's first time qualifying for Champions League.

5. Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)

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Portugal's third most successful football club have never been relegated from the top flight of Portuguese football since their establishment in 1934, and the Lions finished third in the Primeira Liga this season with 70 points - 12 points behind winners Benfica,


The club exited the group stage of the Champions League this season, which included Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, where they subsequently failed to qualify for the Europa League after finishing in fourth in the group standings. 

4. Viktoria Plzeň (Czech Republic)

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The Czech Republic side finished second in their respective league, only two points behind champions Slavia Prague, where they had the best defensive record across their 30 league games - conceding only 21 goals - and joint second highest goals scored (47).


Viktoria Plzeň have played in the Champions League group stages on two occasions, the last coming in 2013/14, where the club have since failed to qualify in their last two seasons following defeat in the third round and play-off stage respectively. 


Their greatest achievement in Europe is reaching the last 16 of the Europa League in both 2012/13 and 2013/14, however if Ajax or Dynamo Kiev fail to reach the play-off stage then Viktora Plzen would become seeded and will not have the prospect of facing Liverpool.

3. CSKA Moscow (Russia)

PFC CSKA Moscow v FC Krylia Sovetov Samara - Russian Premier League

CSKA Moscow finished second in the Russian Premier League standings, seven points behind Spartak Moscow, despite conceding the fewest goals in league (15) and scoring the second most goals (47).


The Russian club finished qualified automatically for the Champions League last season following their title winning campaign, but were knocked out in the group stage, which included the likes of Monaco and Tottenham. Like Viktora Plzen, if Ajax or Dynamo Kiev fail to reach the play-off stage then CSKA Moscow will be seeded and will not be in Liverpool’s side of the draw. 

2. Nice (France)

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A reunion with former Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli could be on the cards as the French side finished third in Ligue 1, 17 points behind champions Monaco and nine points behind second-placed PSG, to qualify for the competitions third round qualifiers. 


After the French side's impressive Ligue 1 campaign, the club have the opportunity to end their long absence from the Champions League with a successful qualifying campaign.

1. Hoffenheim (Germany)

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga

A rapid rise and transformation for the German side has seen them move from 15th in 2015/16 to fourth place in this campaign, only two points behind third-placed Dortmund and 20 behind champions Bayern Munich.


Hoffenheim play with a bold attacking style of football under the tutelage of Julian Nagelsmann who is only 29-years-old, the club conceded the second lowest goals in the Bundesliga (37), second to the champions, Bayern. 


They would pose a significant threat to Liverpool as they look to qualify for the Champions League group stages for the first time in the club's history, only ten years since their first season in professional football. 



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