Liverpool will go into their Champions League knockout stages rest assured they have secured a spot for next seasons competition. Liverpool became the first club to qualify for the 2020/21 Champions League after their 1-0 win over Norwich thanks to a late goal by Sadio Mane. Mane, returned from injury in time to help his side continue their unbeaten run and secure a spot for next seasons Champions League.
A 2-0 home defeat for Chelsea by Manchester United on Monday, now see the Reds 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Liverpool are on the top of the league table with 76 points in 26 games. With the race to finish top four coming close, Sunday’s win now sees Jurgen Klopp side 35 points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea. What this means is, even if Liverpool were to lose all of their remaining matches and Chelsea were to win all 12 fixtures remaining, they would only be able to amass 75 points which would make Liverpool still come out on top.
Liverpool, who are the reigning European Champions become the first team to qualify for Champions League next season. This is before the first of their two-leg last-16 clash against Atletico Madrid. Liverpool will travel to Metropolitano Stadium for their first leg on February 18.
As it stands, second-placed Manchester City has been banned for two seasons which could possibly mean the team that finishes fifth will take their place. City is said to be planning to appeal UEFA’s decision.
Liverpool is looking to quench their first English championship since 1990 and is just five wins away from doing so. The Reds could also be crowned Premier League champions early during their match against Bournemouth on March 7 at Anfield. The last time this happened was when Manchester United won the Premier League title and was crowned winners early, with Alex Ferguson’s men claiming the trophy on April 14 during the 2000/01 season.
Meanwhile, with the 2020 Olympics coming up in the summer, Liverpool will have to make a tough decision on whether to let front runner Mohammed Salah attend the competition. Egypt has already named Salah apart of their 50 man squad but may not get their way if Liverpool decides not to release him. The Reds hold the ultimate decision to either release him or keep him from going if the competition will stand in their way.
With Egypt keen on Salah joining their squad in Tokyo, FIFA has now released a statement saying the decision is in Liverpool’s hands.
“The men’s Olympic Football Tournament, as well as all Fifa competitions with age restrictions, are not included in the men’s international match calendar 2018-2024, and thus clubs are not under the obligation to release players for the competition,” said a Fifa spokesperson.