Jamie Carragher: Why Liverpool and Tottenham must take Europa League seriously

Jamie Carragher says the chance of European glory shouldn't be snubbed by Liverpool and Tottenham

Jamie Carragher has urged Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur to take the Europa League seriously this season.

The Reds boasted their chances of reaching the knockout phase after a 1-0 victory over Rubin Kazan hoisted Liverpool up to second place in Group B.

If Liverpool and Tottenham do well, they will help preserve the Premier League’s four places, which is crucial for them too

Jamie Carragher

Tottenham, meanwhile, are two points clear at the top of Group J following a dramatic 2-1 victory over Anderlecht at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.

Liverpool and Spurs are two contenders for fourth place in the Premier League this season as both clubs look to secure a return to the Champions League.

But former Red defender Carragher, who was part of Gerard Houllier’s side that beat Alaves in 2001, explained why Liverpool and Spurs need to go deep into this season’s Europa League competition.

“It was great to see Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino picking close to full-strength teams in the Europa League on Thursday night,” Carragher told Daily Mail.

“After Pochettino’s Spurs beat Anderlecht 2-1 and Klopp’s Liverpool won 1-0 at Rubin Kazan, both are very likely to qualify for the knockout stages,” Carragher told Daily Mail.

“They could go further in Europe than our four Champions League teams and that may yet be crucial for our Uefa coefficient — the points system that decides how many Champions League places England gets as a league.

“If Liverpool and Tottenham do well, they will help preserve the Premier League’s four places, which is crucial for them too.

“Quite clearly having four spots is their best chance of getting back into the Champions League.

“With three, they would barely have a hope. So in this Europa League they are playing for themselves in years to come.

“There is another plus side too, of course — glory.

“I have great memories of winning the competition with Liverpool in 2001 and Spurs fans often say winning it in 1984 was one of their favourite moments.

“So I’m glad they’re taking it more seriously than in previous years. The rest of Europe have for some time!”

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side face Arsenal at The Emirates in the north London derby on Sunday afternoon.

MORE: Read the latest Tottenham player tweets

Liverpool, meanwhile, host Crystal Palace at Anfield tomorrow afternoon.

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