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Is a Top Four finish possible for Liverpool?
Okay so admittedly this may be slightly premature, Liverpool haven’t quite managed to attain a place in the Premiership top four, yet, this season. However, they are currently in the top four form guide, garnering 11 points from their last six league games. Their quiet progression, over the last month and a half, has gone relatively unnoticed with the exploits of their Merseyside neighbours Everton; and Former Reds’ assistant Steve Clarke’s West Bromwich Albion grabbing the headlines.
Brendan Rodgers’ side ambled into the start of the current season not managing to register a win until late September; they picked up just two points from their opening five matches. All seemed at a loss, with a distinct dearth in quality and personnel up front and seemingly not everyone was comfortable with the new Rodgers regime of a methodical, passing game the decline seemed an inevitable mainstay for their season. With the rejuvenation of the talismanic Luis Suarez, though, and eminence of young Raheem Sterling they have slowly turned fortunes back in their favour and now Liverpool have lost just once in eleven Premiership matches; bringing them to the brink of a coveted top four spot.
Liverpool legend Phil Thompson believes it is certainly well within his former sides grasp “A few weeks ago you might have thought it was a bit too far away. Four points off fourth spot is a fantastic achievement.”
“We’ve been chipping away so we’re still in there and I think there is a great opportunity to get into a Champions League spot.”
Providing Liverpool strengthen significantly in the January transfer window, rumours of Daniel Sturridge joining the ranks are consistently being brought to the fore, then there is no reason why they can’t take advantage of the faltering performances of teams immediately above them. Neither Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham seem to be able to take a firm hold of third and fourth place leaving an opportunity for the Reds to kick on and make the position theirs.
For a club of such stature it is imperative they don’t spend another year without Champions League football, those heady, emotional nights at Anfield seem to be a fading memory and it is time they brought some glory nights back to the red half of Merseyside. Yes they are going well in Europe’s secondary competition but even the most ardent Kopite would surely admit this competition goes nowhere near replicating the same feelings as that famous night in Istanbul.
Keeping a hold of their prized assets will also prove a difficult challenge without the lure of top European nights in which to showcase their talents. Moreover, Rodgers will surely find it difficult to entice players of a certain ilk to Anfield if they cannot guarantee the prestige of Champions League football.
Although they may not be in the Premiership top four as things stand being in the top four of the form guide certainly bodes well; after a shaky opening to the season the Liverpool of old are beginning to rear their heads. Those of you who can remember the times when Liverpool were a force to be reckoned with will know that that is a daunting prospect for several other sides around them, who are aiming to make a Champions League spot by the end of the season.
Can Liverpool finish in the top four this season let me know what you think?