Liverpool miss out on seeding for Europa League draw
Liverpool face the prospect of potentially tough opponents in their first experience of the Europa League after UEFA confirmed they will not be seeded for Friday's knockout stage draw.
Poor goal difference in the Champions League groups means Rafael Benitez's side miss out on being among the 16 top seeds for the new-look competition, which replaces the UEFA Cup.
It means Liverpool - along with Everton and Fulham, who are both also unseeded - may have to play strong teams including a trio from Germany - holders Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg and Hamburg - as well as Italian giants Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk from Ukraine and Turkish club Galatasaray.
A UEFA spokesman said: "Liverpool will not be one of the seeded teams. The top seeds are the 12 groups winners from the Europa League and the best four third-placed sides from the Champions League.
"Among the clubs dropping down from the Champions League, Juventus and Unirea Urziceni won more points than Liverpool, while Marseille and Wolfsburg had a better goal difference."
The seeded teams are also given the advantage of playing the second leg at home. The round of 32 starts on February 16 with the final in Hamburg on May 12.