By Danny Bloomer
The first Premier League game following the European Super League announcement takes place on Monday evening as Liverpool travel to Elland Road to face Leeds United.
With Jurgen Klopp’s side still on the quest for a place in the top four, their status as one of the six English clubs to push for the new competition leaves question marks as to whether they will be permitted to play in the Champions League next term.
Following West Ham United’s shock 3-2 defeat at relegation-threatened Newcastle United, and with Chelsea and Leicester City in FA Cup semi-final action last weekend, the door is potentially open for the Reds to move into fourth spot with a win.
Leeds harbour European aspirations of their own and if they claim a fourth successive victory, Marcelo Bielsa’s men will move within two points of Tottenham Hotspur in the final Europa League position.
Liverpool remain without long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson, while young midfielder Curtis Jones is not expected to be fit.
Meanwhile, Leeds are sweating on the fitness of their star winger Raphinha, who limped off injured at the end of the victory at Manchester City last weekend following a late challenge by Fernandinho.
Captain Liam Cooper is a definite absentee for the Whites as he is suspended for three matches following his red card at the Etihad, while Rodrigo is also a doubt after sustaining a muscular injury in the final training session before the win at City.
In the previous meeting between the two sides, in what was Leeds’ first game back in the top-flight in 16 years, it took a late Mohamed Salah penalty to earn the Reds a 4-3 triumph.
The Whites have not beaten the Premier League champions in over 20 years but will be hoping to change that if they are to cement their place in the top half.
This evening’s clash is set to be screened on Sky Sports Main Event and Premier League; kick-off 20:00 GMT.