Holders Liverpool could be knocked out of the Champions League this week - and here's how it could happen

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Defeat for Jurgen Klopp's European champions and a win for Napoli would have miserable consequences

The match that could haunt Liverpool: Sadio Mane scores his side's first goal against Red Bull Salzburg in October. PA

The match that could haunt Liverpool: Andrew Robertson nets the second and it looked like it would be a comfortable night. AP

The match that could haunt Liverpool: Red Bull Salzburg's Hwang Hee-chan changed the game when he netted their first. PA

The match that could haunt Liverpool: Comfortable again as Mohamed Salah puts them 3-1 ahead. PA

The match that could haunt Liverpool: Takumi Minamino of Red Bull Salzburg narrows the gap again, making it 3-2 at Anfield. Getty

The match that could haunt Liverpool: Erling Haaland of Salzburg levels the scores at a stunned Anfield. Getty

The match that could haunt Liverpool: Relief as Mohamed Salah scores his side's fourth and the winner. But the scoreline means Jurgen Klopp's side still have work to do in Austria against a dangerous side. Getty

The match that could haunt Liverpool: Mohamed Salah and his relieved teammates celebrate the winner. AP

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Dominic Hart

Dec 9, 2019

December 9, 2019

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Liverpool travel to Austria for their final Champions League group game on Tuesday knowing qualification is far from certain.

The European champions are top of Group E with 10 points from five matches, but defeat against Red Bull Salzburg, and if the other game between Napoli and Genk goes against them, Jurgen klopp's side would be relegated to playing in the Europa League.

It's a worst-case scenario for Klopp's side, who have been in such fine form in the Premier League, winning 15 of their 16 games and holding an eight-point lead over Leicester City.

But it means Klopp might not be able to rest as many players as he wants with the matches coming thick and fast over December and the festive period.

Victory would seal top spot in Group E, while a draw would guarantee at least second place.

A defeat, however, and Liverpool could be out if Napoli beat Genk - who only have one point from their five games so far.

Red Bull Salzburg have to win to stand any chance. They only need a one-goal margin to do it as long as the score is 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2. That's because they would be level on head-to-head points, goal difference and goals scored against Liverpool after their 4-3 loss at Anfield earlier this season.

So in a nutshell, if Salzburg win by a goal and don't concede three, they go through and Liverpool would be out.

Klopp would have had one eye on Tuesday's game when naming his side for Liverpool's recent victories over Everton and Bournemouth, where a number of players, including Mohamed Salah, were rested.

Updated: December 9, 2019 11:42 AM

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