Jurgen Klopp admits it would be tough to take Champions League rejection even if Liverpool do squeeze into the top four… with UEFA only allowing five teams per nation and Chelsea and Arsenal in with a shout of Euro glory
- A fourth-place finish might not be enough for Champions League qualification
- UEFA rules only allow five teams per nation into their flagship club tournament
- Chelsea and Arsenal are both in with a shot of winning European competitions
- They would then join the Premier League’s top three if they can go all the way
- Champions Liverpool, despite their awful season, can still clinch fourth place
Jurgen Klopp has admitted it would be hard to take should Liverpool finish fourth in the Premier League this season and still be denied entry into the Champions League.
UEFA rules allow a maximum of five clubs per country into the competition and that would include the winners of this season’s Champions League and Europa League who are granted automatic qualification.
It raises the prospect of Chelsea and Arsenal, both well placed to reach European finals, joining the Premier League’s current top three in the Champions League regardless of where they finish domestically.
Liverpool may not get into the Champions League next year, even if they finish in fourth place
UEFA rules only allow five teams in the competition and Chelsea and Arsenal are both in with a shot of European glory this season
The Premier League confirms on its website: ‘In the event that a Premier League club win the UEFA Champions League and another win the UEFA Europa League and neither of these clubs finish in the top four of the Premier League, the club lying fourth in the table will drop into the UEFA Europa League group stage.’
‘It is not nice if you are fourth and then you get kicked out because of another team winning the Champions League. That’s not cool,’ said Klopp.
‘These are the rules at the moment so we have to accept them and if they are wrong, then we have to change them. But at the moment, we have to work with that.
‘There is a good chance again of having two all-English finals in Europe. That makes it really tricky. You could end up with six teams (qualifying) in the Champions League.
‘I have no problem with that. I would love it.’
Liverpool still have plenty of work to do to finish in the top four starting with Sunday’s game at Manchester United who are 13 points ahead of them.
Klopp’s side have not enjoyed a good title defence after losing their three main central defenders Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to long-term injury.
Meanwhile, United have made steady progress with Klopp pleased for his opposite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Mohamed Salah and Liverpool take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday
The Norwegian was urged by television pundits to make substitutions when United were trailing 2-1 to Roma in Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg, but he stuck by his players and they ended up winning 6-2.
‘I watched the game and the half-time talks and everybody was really flabbergasted that they didn’t change, and then they scored four goals, changed late and (Mason) Greenwood scored! It was nice to see that the quality of a manager is more important than the experience you have.
‘I think it is clear that if Ole wouldn’t have had that history as a player, a very successful history, at United then probably not many people would have thought about him.
‘But because he did a brilliant job at Molde and has a Manchester history I think that was the idea
‘It worked out absolutely sensationally from the beginning, then with a little dip and then now they look good.
‘Of course, he deserves credit for that, with his coaches. do really well and I am happy for him. Even though I don’t think about United too often, I am really happy for a fellow manager who does really well.’