Liverpool are a step closer to finding out who they will face in their upcoming Champions League playoff clash, scheduled to be played out over two legs.
The list of the club’s possible opponents has been whittled down to five ahead Friday’s draw, in which the Reds will be seeded with Napoli, Sevilla, CSKA Moscow and Sporting Lisbon.
An interesting reunion remains possible with Mario Balotelli’s Nice one of the five unseeded teams after going through on away goals following their 2-2 draw with Ajax.
The Italian striker signed for Liverpool back in the summer of 2014 but endured an stuttering spell on Merseyside before returning to AC Milan on loan a year later and eventually signing for Nice in 2016.
He has since been amongst headlines for both positive and negative reasons in France, making a number of notable contributions with the ball but also coming under pressure over his disciplinary.
Liverpool could also play against Roberto Firmino’s former employers Hoffenheim, Romanian side Steaua Bucharest, Istanbul BB or Young Boys- whose artificial pitch makes for an unwelcomed draw.
The first leg will take place on either August 16 or August 17 before Liverpool decide their fate in the second meeting on August 22 or August 23.
A place in the group stages of Europe’s elite competition beckons.
Liverpool’s five possible opponents:
Steaua Bucharest- finished second in Liga I
Young Boys- finished second in Swiss Super League
Nice- finished third in Ligue 1
Hoffenheim- finished fourth in Bundesliga
Istanbul BB- finished second in Süper Lig