Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Liverpool are "lucky" to be in the Champions League at all.
Liverpool are facing the agony of winning the trophy but not being able to defend it if they finish lower than fourth in the Premiership this season.
But Wenger said: "Normally they should not have played in this cup.
"They are lucky to be in it because of the advantage this country has in having four qualifying places. Most countries have only three."
Wenger also backed the Football Association's decision to give the fourth Champions League place to the club finishing fourth in the Premiership.
"I feel the rules were clear at the beginning of the season so it was very difficult to change. You cannot knock Everton (who are currently fourth) out of it," he said.
"If Uefa are happy to give a fifth place to England, I'm happy to support it, but I don't know how they can change it.
"You could argue that four places in the Champions League is already quite a big share - and that if you are good enough to win the Champions League, you should be in the top four of your country."
Wenger, whose side were knocked out by Bayern Munich in the last 16, believes the Champions League is no longer a guide to the best teams in Europe.
"The European Cup has been a complete cup competition - like Millwall reaching the FA Cup final - and maybe we will have Coventry in next year's final," he said.
"It has convinced me even more that you cannot make a priority of the Champions League. It has to be the Premiership.
"In the championship you have to be consistent and that is a real reflection of your consistency in a season."