John Aldridge highlights one big ‘positive’ about Liverpool playing in Europa League next season

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John Aldridge has highlight one significant ‘positive’ to Liverpool playing in the Europa League next season, amid the disappointment of almost certainly missing out on the Champions League.

The Reds need to beat Southampton on the final day of the Premier League next Sunday and hope that Manchester United lose at home to both Chelsea and Fulham if they’re to salvage a place in Europe’s premier club competition for 2023/24.

That seems unlikely to materialise, although the former Reds striker believes the venue of next year’s Europa League final should act as a ‘massive’ incentive for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Aldridge wrote in his latest Liverpool Echo column: “Look, it is what it is. It’s not ideal, but it’s what we deserve. It’s what we deserve because it happened over the course of 38 Premier League games.

“The one positive, however, is that the Europa League final is in Dublin next year; the nearest capital city to Liverpool. If we do manage to get to the final, that is going to be some party.

“The amount of support Liverpool have got in Ireland is absolutely massive. Massive. That’s the one good thing. The players have to know what it means to play there.”

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With winning the Europa League delivering a top seeding for the following season’s Champions League, Liverpool should be going all-out to win it irrespective of where the final is being staged.

However, as Aldridge rightly states, the vast Irish support for the Reds – along with Dublin being just a 45-minute flight from John Lennon Airport – would guarantee that it becomes a special occasion for LFC supporters.

The club have played several friendlies at the Aviva Stadium over the past decade (Celtic 2013, Shamrock Rovers 2014, Athletic Bilbao 2017, Napoli 2018), and the 51,711-capacity venue has been packed out on each occasion.

As a former Republic of Ireland international, Aldridge is well tuned into the scale of support that Liverpool enjoys on the opposite side of the Irish Sea.

It’ll take battling through 12 (possibly 14) matches and several rounds to get there, but a European final in Dublin would be a monumental occasion for the travelling Reds – many of whom won’t have to go too far to get there.

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