Will Liverpool Finish In The Top Four This Premier League Season?

brendan rodgers Will Liverpool Finish In The Top Four This Premier League Season?

Liverpool is one of the most storied clubs in the English football. They’ve won 18 league titles, 8 League Cups, 7 FA Cups, 5 Champions League titles, 3 Europa League titles and 3 Super Cups. They’ve had a host of brilliant players don their traditional red kit but as of late they’ve been flat. They haven’t won a league title since the 1989 season and they’ve made a host of awful transfers that have plagued the team and left fans burying their heads.

Last season was experimental for sure but the sublime form of Luis Suarez was one of the few talking points of an otherwise disappointing season. With the January purchases of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, the Reds found a new playmaker and a strike partner for Suarez. These two showed great understanding of manager Brendan Rodgers’ philosophy of play and put in some very strong performances towards the end of the campaign, which gave the Kop something to look forward to for the 2013/14 season. This year, the Reds have given their faithful something to be happy about for the first time since the 2008 season when they finished in second.

Currently Liverpool sit in second with 30 points from 15 games and are above Chelsea on goal difference while trailing the Gunners by 5 points. They’ve scored the second most number of goals in the league, and are tackling better than any team in the top 4. Again it’s been Luis Suarez at the helm of their attack. And with a brilliant start to the season, there is a lot to look forward to. Currently they’re playing some of the best possession football in the league, but many problems are still plaguing Rodgers’ side.

Recent injuries to Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson will force Rodgers to tinker quite a bit with his formations and we could be seeing more of the young Raheem Sterling and Luis Alberto due to these injuries. Defensive woes also trouble the Reds, as Rodgers has struggled to find a consistent back line and has experimented with 3, 4 and 5 at the back. Though they’ve been able to score plenty of goals, there have been a host of individual errors and complacency in the second halves of games that have allowed their opposition to mount second half attacks on numerous occasions.

Fortunately their home form has been superb and Anfield is once again a feared location, but with difficult fixtures coming up before the January transfer window, the Reds will have to maintain their composure in order to keep their top 4 position. In their next 4 matches, Liverpool are traveling to face Spurs, Manchester City and Chelsea. All of these matches will test the resolve of a thin Liverpool squad that is currently being carried on the back of their prolific Uruguayan marksman. It certainly looks like Liverpool has it in them to claim a top 4 spot this term especially with the dreadful form of last year’s champions Manchester United. Gerrard has been fantastic, but with him sidelined for a month, Coutinho, Allen and Leiva will have to control the midfield.

This really is the strongest side Liverpool has boasted since their 2008 season and although they may not win the league, they are certainly in contention to do so, as are the Blues, the Citizens, the Gunners and even the Toffees. If Sturridge comes back from his injury and picks up where he left off then I think there is a great chance that Liverpool will finish in the top 2, but regardless of that I feel very strongly that the Reds will book their ticket to next years Champions League competition because of the brand of football that they’ve been playing.

Last season they struggled to hold onto a lead and it was only Suarez supplying them with the goals. This year they’ve been better at protecting their lead and with the blistering form of Sturridge and Suarez, I don’t see any shortage of goals for the Reds this year. This season the team effort has been spectacular and 12 players have assisted goals thus far while 8 players have scored. They pose an immense threat from set pieces with the options of Coutinho, Gerrard and Suarez. And with Moses and Sterling offering great pace and trickery on the wings, there is much to be excited about. In previous seasons the body language and attitude of Liverpool players suggested a lack of drive, but as of late they’ve looked motivated and are striving to improve upon each and every performance. With this newfound grit and tenacity, I feel that Liverpool will make a very strong case to return to prominence.

With the January transfer window coming up, the speculation of Suarez departing has once again reared its ugly head, which will surely irk Liverpool and their fans. Their lack of depth up front is concerning, and though Suarez claims he is happy at Anfield and has no intentions of leaving, there is always the possibility of that happening, as it happened to Fernando Torres midway through the 2010 season despite Hodgson’s claims that the Spaniard wouldn’t be sold. Liverpool are in a good position to challenge for the top 4, but they will face great adversity against the high powered offense of Manchester City, the return of the Special One at Stamford Bridge, the well oiled Gunners, an invigorated Everton and a surprising Southampton.

Liverpool have the talent to finish top 4, but they must make sure that they keep hold of Suarez and get he and Sturridge some assistance, as they simply cannot do it alone. With Manchester United struggling under Moyes and Tottenham failing to impress, it stands to reason that the Reds can recapture some of their former glory and this term they make a great case for a top 4 finish.

What do you think the top 4 will look like at the end of the year? Will Liverpool be in contention, or will they slip? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: For the latest Reds news, analysis and opinion, visit the Liverpool team page.

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9 Responses to Will Liverpool Finish In The Top Four This Premier League Season?

  1. goisles01 says:

    We can only hope. Thought Victor Moses was going to be a more viable contributor this year seeing how he was a super sub last year for Chelsea. Hope he rounds into form but to me has been somewhat of a disappointment this year. What is the situation with Iago Aspas? I know he was hurt but hes been cleared only to not see any significant time off the bench, even in decisive victories. Is it a question of fitness? Maybe this can be an opportunity for him to show the depth of the squad. I like this aggressive side of Joe Allen and to me is a better option than Lucas at this time. The key is keeping Coutinho healthy. he is the most important link on attack. The only up front midfielder that shows he can constantly get the ball to the strikers. LFC attack suffered when he was out and an unfit Coutinho was a reason for the lack of offense @ Arsenal.

  2. Tony Butterworth says:

    I’ll let you know in May.

    It’s a serious comment, there are so many things that can happen and things are so close pointswise right now it’s impossible to tell.

  3. James says:

    Liverpool have an abysmal away record this season, only two wins, and until they sort that out will find it very difficult to finish in the top 4.

    Their next three away games are Spurs this weekend and then City the day after Christmas followed by Chelsea a couple of days later. Season-defining run-in. Thing don’t look good though based on their away from so far and without Sturridge and Gerrard.

    • Martin J. says:

      Add to that Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers have only beaten Spurs (last season) and United (this season) both at home of all top 6 clubs. That is a shockingly bad statistic. It says a lot about how poor Rodgers is against the top sides.

      With Spurs, City and Chelsea coming up so quickly and all away Liverpool could be well out of the top 4 by the end of the month. Without Gerrard and Sturridge they will be short of quality players as well.

  4. abdirahman says:

    no. the top four will be like this come 11/5/2014 number one 1.chelsea 2.man.city. 3.arsenal. 4.m.united. No chance for liverbool.i can’t even see them finishing above everton.

  5. Ken says:

    In my opinion Liverpool never had a chance this season of getting top 4 and it was only the ease of their early fixtures that gave the impression that they were a contender for top 4.
    Over the Christmas New Year period I expect to see them slip away and they’ll finish at best 6th this season.

  6. Mufc77 says:

    Too early to tell at this point. Things are so close at the top 1-2 loses can see you drop 3-4 places and injuries to Gerrard and Sturridge won’t help. By mid January things will start to take shape.

  7. Clampdown says:

    Agree with several of the comments here. While I’m happy with the position Liverpool are in, there is still a lot of work to do and a lot to prove. They have to start winning some matches away. The three upcoming ones are about as tough as you get.

    Then there is the question of what happens in the transfer window, not only at Liverpool but elsewhere. Right now, Man City and Chelsea have plenty of quality depth, which just isn’t the case of any of the other clubs in the Prem.

    Liverpool need someone to spell Coutinho or even push him for the starting spot. Henderson, while performing admirably this season, is not and never will be a 10. They also need a third striker and another wing player. But the problem is that these have to be impact players, not just OK (such as Aspas, Assaidi, etc.).

    The good news for any of the clubs hovering around the top 4 is that everybody is dropping points, and until at least a couple of them start dominating, there is reason for many to hope they can finish in a CL spot.

  8. yespage says:

    As others have stated, where Liverpool stands will be better understood at the New Year with tough matches against Chelsea, Man City, and Tottenham. Liverpool are definitely a lot better than last year, with Jordan Henderson playing exceptionally well and Coutinho filling the hole left by Alonso several years ago. And they are in second despite not having Suarez play at the beginning of the season.

    Falling to 6th wouldn’t surprise me. But staying in the top 4 may not be that big of a surprise either. The EPL has parity at the top of the league this year. Liverpool can’t use inertia to stay in 2nd. They’ll have to earn it and they’ll have their chance to do so.

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