Seeded Liverpool could face Mario Balotelli in Champions League draw

Liverpool could be drawn against Nice, who have Mario Balotelli in their ranks, when the depict for the Champions League play-off round takes place on Friday

Jrgen Klopp has said Liverpool make preparations for the Champions League play-offs but must be ready psychologically for the critical early test in their season.

Liverpool will be seeded in Fridays play-off draw alongside Sevilla, Napoli, CSKA Moscow and Sporting Lisbon. They will avoid an all-British tie against Celtic, and a reunion with their former manager Brendan Rodgers, after the Scottish champions beat Rosenborg on Wednesday in the third qualifying round to procure their place in the seeded half of the draw.

Liverpool can be drawn against Mario Balotellis Nice, Steaua Bucharest, Young Boys of Berne, Istanbul Basaksehir or Hoffenheim, the former club of Roberto Firmino, in the play-offs, to be staged on 15 -1 6 August and 22 -2 3 August.

It were critical how you prepare and what state of mind you are in for games like this, the Liverpool manager said in Munich, where his team lost the Audi Cup final to Atltico Madrid 5-4 on penalties after the match objective 1-1. If you want to win you want to draw a smaller foe but we played against Bayern Munich last night and played much better than we did against Atltico.

We appeared very tired tonight. We want to make life very difficult for our adversaries but all that happened tonight is the fact that we conceded a aim. We had 20 shots. For many players it was a real experience. It is a perverse situation you bring players into a situation where they have to play a game they shouldnt play. Im happy we dont have to play again tomorrow.

Liverpools unbeaten pre-season ended in a low-key finale to the Audi Cup. Klopp built nine changes to the team who started the 3-0 win over Bayern Munich 24 hours earlier and in a subdued first half the 19 -year-old Albanian midfielder Keidi Bare headed Diego Simeones team ahead after Danny Ward had tipped Angel Correas shot on to the bar.

Firmino equalised with an 83 rd-minute penalty to take the final to a shootout. Only Jordan Henderson failed to convert as Miguel Moy saved low to his left.

Klopp said: We wanted to win criminal penalties shootout but that is not the important situation. The sons played very well and did very good in their preparations. They could not have had a more difficult test than against Atltico Madrid, who are a squad that only gets outcomes, outcomes, results.

It was not easy. When we confessed we didnt quite see the situation or believe straightaway. The formation was not 100%. One lost ball at a header shouldnt mean you go behind.

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