Finishing 4th this season will see Liverpool face very tough Champions League tie

In the past, finishing fourth in the Premier League meant a nice, winnable fixture against a European minnow, but if we achieve that this time around, we’re likely to face a real tricky tie…

Third place would get us automatically into the group stages, but fourth place would present a real lottery.

New rules state that we’ll join a bunch of sides noted as ‘non-league winners’ in a play-off draw. The likes of Celtic, for example, a league winner, would compete against other ‘league winners’ from smaller nations – making our likely opponent a much better side. Right now, Sevilla are 4th in Spain, Borussia Dortmund are 4th in Germany and Napoli are in Serie A’s final spot…

What’s more, the first round of the play-off is set for August 15, just days after the Premier League opener. Imagine a trip to Old Trafford and then a trip to Germany to start the campaign…

This shows that battling for third is almost as crucial as finishing fourth. If we qualify for the Champions League via fourth spot and end up in the Europa League after losing a horrible two-legged affair, it would break our hearts.

There’s also the unlikely possibility that Leicester win the Champions League and Manchester United win the Europa, which would mean our three sides qualify via the Premier League…