One former Premier League winner has said that Liverpool ‘still have a huge opportunity’ to secure a top-four finish this season.
Having been 11 points off the Champions League positions just over a month ago following their 3-0 defeat at Wolves (BBC Sport), Jurgen Klopp’s team now lie only three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, with a game in hand and a better goal difference than Spurs.
A run of 13 points from five games, including last Sunday’s 7-0 rout of Manchester United, has given the Reds renewed hope of finishing in the top four, and Nigel Winterburn has talked up our chances of doing just that.
The former Arsenal defender, who won the Premier League title in 1998, said (via Sussex Live): “Liverpool have surprised everyone this season with their lack of consistency. People say they’ve had a drop in form, and they’ve had a lot of injuries but there’s still real quality within that squad – we saw that against Manchester United.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Liverpool will be challenging for fourth place, and they still have a huge opportunity to get there.”
However, Winterburn did warn of one surprise team that the Reds must beware in the top-four chase, stating: “Brighton are the outsiders but sometimes the outsiders surprise us all and they’re playing exceptionally well. I would still put them in with a chance of getting into that top four.”
There’s no doubt that our top four prospects have greatly improved in the five weeks since the Molineux debacle, and we can boast fairly recent experience of securing Champions League qualification from a seemingly bleak scenario.
Think back to this time two years ago when we lost at home to Fulham, our sixth successive Anfield defeat in the league, and how unlikely a top-four finish seemed then.
Ironically, it was a subsequent win away to Wolves that kickstarted an unbeaten run-in to the top-flight campaign as we eventually secured third place.
The momentum is certainly with us now, but a three-week gap in Premier League action following the Bournemouth trip on Saturday is coming at an inopportune time for us, especially when you look at our first three games in April.
The nine-day period in which we face Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal could go a long way toward deciding whether or not we secure a seventh successive season of Champions League football.