Liverpool are no longer in a title race but in a race to finish in the top-four and qualify for the Champions League.
The champions are in fourth, 10 points adrift of Man City having played a game more.
In fact, they travel to Leicester knowing a defeat would leave them six points behind Brendan Rodgers side as they now prioritise a top-four finish. Chelsea and West Ham are just one point behind, while Spurs would also be one point behind if they won their game in hand.
Meanwhile, both Everton and Aston Villa would leapfrog the Reds if they won their two games in hand.
“We knew from the beginning of the season that you have to fight for the Champions League,” Klopp admitted after his side’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City.
What would happen if the champions fail to finish in the top-four and fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League?
Well, we decided to predict 11 things that would happen if that nightmare became a reality for Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah leaves
We’re pretty confident with this one. Even if Liverpool do qualify for the Champions League next season, there will be plenty of rumours surrounding Mohamed Salah's future.
The Egyptian has given a few interviews recently suggesting that he’s looking at the possibility of leaving Anfield in the near future and, failure to qualify for Europe’s elite competition, would surely accelerate those aspirations.
Salah will turn 29 in the summer and Liverpool fans surely wouldn’t begrudge him a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
He'll leave a club legend.
Jurgen Klopp steps down
Liverpool supporters could probably cope with Salah leaving. But we’re not sure how they’d cope if Klopp was to leave. Let’s get it right, there’s absolutely no way the club are sacking the German - even if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.
But after what has been an incredibly challenging and draining year both on and off the pitch for Klopp, it wouldn't be the biggest shock in the world if he decides to step down in the summer.
However, he does have a contract at the club until 2024 and Liverpool will do everything in their power to ensure he stays until then at the very least.
He’s already won the Champions League and Premier League for Liverpool and following the devastating news with the death of his mother, maybe he does need a rest.
It’s unlikely and it’s a nightmare scenario for the club. But he could be replaced by a cub legend…
Steven Gerrard appointed
So, Klopp sensationally resigns and Liverpool are on the lookout for a new manager. Who do they turn to? Steven Gerrard, of course.
What could possibly go wrong by hiring the club’s biggest legend? Gerrard will be hoping to fare better than Frank Lampard did at Chelsea but if his reign at Rangers is anything to go by, he’ll cope just fine.
Jamie Carragher returns as a coach
Jamie Carragher hasn’t shown any signs of wanting to go into coaching with him establishing himself as a quality pundit. But would he say no to an offer to work with Gerrard at his beloved club? He would surely have some pretty good defensive tips to give.
They don't sign anyone in the summer
Fenway Sports Group have recently been criticised by Liverpool fans for not spending much in recent transfer windows. And they certainly won’t be splashing the cash without Champions League football. When you consider the losses from the coronavirus pandemic, the loss of no Champions League football would be huge.
"For a club like Liverpool, who have been established in the Champions League for a good few seasons now, that's why it is so important that they are in there again next season; it's the sponsorship side, the broadcast side, the matchday revenues which we all hope will come back, and it's the ability to be able to attract the highest-calibre players,” sports lawyer Daniel Geey, of Sheridans told Goal.
"You're talking about potentially removing the best part of £60-80m ($83-111m) from your bottom line, at a time when every penny counts. It's huge.
"Liverpool have a big wage bill, they have big commitments to a lot of elite players, and without that Champions League revenue, they would need to re-forecast their budgets accordingly."
Maybe they will just opt to sign Ozan Kabak on a permanent deal following his loan move but don’t expect too much else.
Diogo Jota becomes the main man
With Salah gone, Diogo Jota could become Liverpool’s main man next season. The Portuguese scored nine goals in 17 appearances after moving to Anfield before he was sidelined with a serious injury. He’ll soon be back to full fitness and could fill Salah’s boots by becoming the club’s top goalscorer.
Virgil van Dijk reminds everyone he’s the best defender in the world
Not all of Liverpool’s problems this season are down to Virgil van Dijk’s injury. After all, the Dutchman did play during Liverpool’s 7-2 loss to Aston Villa earlier this campaign. However, he’s the best defender in the world and having him in that backline would have made a huge difference to Liverpool’s fortunes. He’s unlikely to return this season but he’ll be back in 2021/22 to remind everyone why he’s the best centre-back around.
Harvey Elliott stars in 2021/22
One of Liverpool’s biggest positives this season has come from a player not even at the club. Harvey Elliott has gone on loan to Blackburn and, at the age of 17, is tearing it up. He’s receiving rave reviews for his performances and could push for a first-team spot next season. Earlier this week, it was decided by a tribunal that Liverpool would pay Fulham just £4 million for him.
Fight for top-four in 2021/22
Like this season, we can’t see anything more than a fight for a top-four challenge next season if they fail to qualify for the Champions League. Right now, they’re a long away from Manchester City and we can’t see that changing if they’re unable to add to their squad. Getting back into the Champions League will be the priority.
Concentrate on domestic cups
Perhaps one of the biggest negatives of Klopp’s spell in charge of Liverpool is his apparent disregard for both the FA Cup and League Cup. The closest the Reds have come to winning one of these was when they lost to Manchester City in the League Cup final. Since then, Klopp has decided to rotate his squad heavily leading to an early exit. With no title challenge on the cards and no Champions League football, perhaps he will concentrate on trying to land a domestic cup.
They win the Europa League
It’s not all doom and gloom. Failure to qualify for the Champions League would probably mean entry into the Europa League. If so, they would surely start the competition as one of the favourites. We wouldn’t be betting against them winning the whole thing given their European experience.News Now - Sport News