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How much does the Europa League affect Liverpool’s Premier League results?

04 Nov | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
How much does the Europa League affect Liverpool’s Premier League results?

Jurgen Klopp shouldn't have to prioritise between domestic and European competition - in reality, though, success in both is difficult to achieve

Playing in the Europa League damages a team’s chances in the Premier League.

Everyone believes it is true.

But how much is this really the case?

A contention that is often accepted without any supporting evidence, so it is time to do a little digging.

Should Liverpool play their strongest side in Thursday’s Group B fixture at Rubin Kazan, or would a loss – and early group exit – actually benefit them in the long term?

Let’s start with the Reds’ previous European encounters this season.

Each of their three games have finished 1-1 and it is 6/1 for that score to be repeated once again.

These draws have been achieved with close-to-full-strength teams.

Fatigue – mental and physical – from playing on a Thursday is probably the most significant factor on the following weekend’s Premier League matches.

So what have they been?

Well, Liverpool are nothing if not consistent.

Each of their Europa League ties have been followed by 1-1 draws in the Premier League – at home to Norwich, away to Everton and at home to Southampton respectively.

It would be easy to conclude, then, that midweek football has been affecting their league results.

Certainly, Jurgen Klopp’s new club were expected to beat Norwich, but their performance lacked fluency and conviction.

Yet a point at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby is not necessarily bad result, while Ronald Koeman’s side are – at least at present – of a similar standard to Liverpool.

Would they have picked up more than a single point from each of these games without their Europa League exertions?

It is impossible to say for certain, but going back to when they were last in Europe’s second tier competition, a similar negative pattern occurs.

In the Europa League group stage in 2012/13, Liverpool topped their group with 10 points.

And in the six league fixtures that followed each of their Thursday night matches, they won once, drew three and lost two.

There is a clear correlation between participation in the Europa League and uninspiring domestic form.

So what are Klopp’s for this week’s trip to Russia?

Well, even if the manager wanted to prioritise the Premier League, his squad isn’t deep enough to rotate.

Divock Origi has started every Europa League game this season and, although he is yet to score, has been enterprising.

The Belgian is 5/1 to get the first goal.

Klopp, meanwhile, remains unbeaten in his new post and is 9/10 to clinch the Reds’ first European win of the campaign.

It is an oft-used cliché, but the German’s best course of action is to take things one game at a time.

Liverpool are likely to encounter a difficult game against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

But if the players and coaching staff become preoccupied about how Thursday’s game might affect the outcome of their next league encounter, they risk jeopardising both fixtures.

Not to mention the goodwill of the supporters.

Rubin Kazan v Liverpool betting

Europa League betting