On Sunday, Liverpool secured their place in the Champions League for next season. This is first time they have done it in consecutive years, since former manager Rafael Benitez was at the helm of the club.
Goals from Mohammed Salah, Dejan Lovren, and firsts for the club in the form of Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson proved too good for Brighton & Hove Albion.
Jurgen Klopp’s men finished in 4th place, with 75 points, but unlike previous seasons they will not have to play a qualifier before heading into the group stages of Europe’s elite club competition.
This year, they beat German side Hoffenheim over two legs in the preliminary round, starting their road to Kyiv.
In the group stages this season, they were seeded third, but got a favourable draw with the top seed being Spartak Moscow.
Liverpool are likely to be in the third seeding group again, in next years competition. UEFA complete their rankings on a five year period, collecting the results of each team.
Out of those five years, Liverpool have been absent from Europe for two seasons, and couldn’t get out the group stages in another, so it’s understandable that they rank so low. Baring this season’s run, their best result had been a Europa League final defeat vs. Sevilla in the 2015/16 season.
The only way Liverpool can improve that ranking is by beating Real Madrid in next weeks final. UEFA leave two spaces for the first seeds open, which are taken up by the winners of the Champions League and Europa League. Obviously, being a lower didn’t effect the team too much this year, but the draw might not be as kind next time around.
However, there is also an opportunity for the reds to move up the ladder, from third to second, if they lose to Real. They would need Atlético Madrid to win the Europa League, against Marseille, which is taking place tomorrow.
Additionally, Benfica and Basel, who still need to play in the qualifying rounds, would need to lose their fixtures. Both teams are currently above Liverpool in the rankings, but that could all change. It’s an unlikely scenario though.