CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAYOFF DRAW ON FRIDAY
The Champions League playoff draw is slated for Friday August 4, 2017. The playoff sides would know which teams they would be facing for a chance to reach the finals later in the year.
Premier League fourth place side Liverpool would be seeded along with Serie A team Napoli, Spanish side Sevilla, Portuguese team Sporting Lisbon and Russia top flight club CSKA Moscow. They would be paired against any of Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, Turkish Super Lig side Istanbul Basaksehir, Swiss side BSC Young Boys, Ligue 1 side Nice or Romanian side Steaua Bucharest.
Liverpool piped Arsenal to the fourth place finish last year to make a return to the elite club tournament after two years. The Gunners would be playing in the Europa League – hopefully they can get to win a European title, even if it is not the one they would have preferred.
Jurgen Klopp men could clash with Nice and former Reds striker Mario Balotelli could make a return to Anfield. The Reds would avoid meeting British side Celtic that saw of Rosenborg in the last round to make the playoff stage.
Liverpool recently lost the Audi Cup final to Atletico Madrid after skipper Jordan Henderson lost his kick in the penalty shootout. They had started by embarrassing Bayern Munich 3-0 but they could not get past the Spanish team on the second day. After conceding first, it took a penalty converted by Roberto Firmino for the game to be sent further past 90 minutes.
The playoff would be return leg fixtures slated for August 15-16 and 22-23 ahead of the group stage draw for the 2017/18 Champions League season.