Manchester United may have given Liverpool a potential Champions League problem by losing their Europa League final against Villarreal

Liverpool supporters would normally have little reason to be upset at Manchester United being denied silverware.

But their bitter North West rivals may have dealt the Reds a potential blow by losing to Villarreal in the Europa League final in Gdansk on Wednesday evening.

And it refers to the draw for next season’s Champions League group stages, which will take place in August.

By winning their European final after a lengthy and dramatic penalty shootout, Villarreal will go into Pot 1, along with the title winners from the highest-ranked European leagues – Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Lille and Sporting Lisbon.

United, meanwhile, will join Liverpool in Pot 2 for the draw alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla.

And with only one place remaining in Pot 2, there is a chance Borussia Dortmund – who at present boast Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho in their ranks – could instead be placed in Pot 3 and become potential Liverpool opponents in the group stage.

That will now be dependent on the outcome of Saturday’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea.

Victory for City over Chelsea will make the Londoners the final team in Pot 2 and push Dortmund into Pot 3, making it possible the Bundesliga side could be drawn with Liverpool in the group stage.

The fact City have already qualified for the competition next season means Zenit St Petersburg will be placed in Pot 1 as the winners of the next highest-ranked league, which is Russia.

But a Chelsea win at the weekend will put them in Pot 1 and see Dortmund become the eighth and final team in Pot 2.

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