Liverpool found out their Europa League group stage opponents on Friday and Jurgen Klopp is more than happy with the travel arrangements that will aid their domestic ambitions

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Liverpool v Aston Villa: Jurgen Klopp press conference

Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool “were a bit lucky” with their Europa League draw - which has worked out favourably for their travel arrangements.

The Reds will play in European football’s secondary competition this season after missing out on the top four last term, meaning they have the unenviable task of playing on Thursday nights before preparing for Premier League action at the weekend, which can prove testing.

Liverpool have been drawn in a Europa League group with Union Saint-Gilloise, LASK and Toulouse meaning they have to travel to France, Austria and Belgium. They dodged any daunting away days to the likes of Russia or Turkey, which clock up the miles, leaving Klopp more than content.

He said: “[I] can’t wait to get started, happy that we don’t have to fly too far, to be honest, because [that’s] a bit of a concern when you play Thursday and then you come back from wherever in Europe, and there are some distances, I think, especially in the Europa League, which is really tricky. It could be really tricky so there we were a bit lucky.

“But with the teams we have to learn now, obviously. When I saw it I went through the squads directly and tried to figure out a little bit who I know, what I know already, but that’s obviously not enough in the moment. But we have, what is it? Three weeks? We will be prepared. When we know [who we will play first] then we will prepare that team and then the others.”

The German boss has previously bemoaned the football calendar, after suffering notable injuries for his side. The challenges of playing late in the week are well known and could yet impact the Reds’ ambitions.

Liverpool will compete in this season's Europa League Liverpool will compete in this season’s Europa League (



Klopp led Liverpool to the Europa League final in his first season in charge, losing to Sevilla. Since then he’s operated solely in the Champions League but will now have to shift his focus as his immensely talented side sit amongst the tournament favourites.

He added: “They [all] have our full respect. I am looking really forward to the Europa League and didn’t play it that often in my life and that’s why it makes it even more special. So, it’s really cool. They will be good, they will be challenging. For them, obviously, it’s clear, I saw the reaction of the Belgian team and we will meet Macca’s brother, obviously.

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“That’s good as well, saw the reaction of that, so that’s how it is, that everybody wants to play us, but everybody wants to beat us. So, we have to be ready, if we want to go far in the competition, we have to be really greedy in all these games and it’s my job to make sure that we are.”

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