Football

Liverpool to break into the top four next season?

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Rodgers will hope for Champions League football at Liverpool (©GettyImages)
Rodgers will hope for Champions League football at Liverpool (©GettyImages).

In only a few years, Liverpool have seen themselves go from champions of Europe, to battling with the likes of West Brom and Everton for Europa League qualification. 

A remarkable decline, however I feel the tide may be about to turn once more.

They got off to a slow start this season, losing 3-0 on the opening day to West Brom before then failing to win a league game until the end of September. 

Perhaps distracted by a Europa League campaign which started on the second of August, Liverpool's season was looking like a disaster and it seemed Brendan Rodgers' reign at Liverpool was reaching a premature end. 

New signings Fabio Borini and Joe Allen were failing to make an impact, and they were relying on youngster Raheem Sterling to provide a spark.Things were looking bleak. That is, until, the January transfer window opened.

Brendan Rodgers brought in both Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and Coutinho from Inter Milan, and these two players seem to have made the difference, and are partly why I believe Liverpool can challenge for a Champions League spot next season. Add in the eccentric, but vastly talented Luis Suarez and you have a front three that will drill fear into opposition defenders. 

The link-up play between Suarez and Sturridge, in particular, is why I view them as a potential threat. Liverpool's recent home match against Chelsea proves as evidence for this. At half-time Liverpool were trailing 1-0 and seemed to lack any creativity and any drive. Then Daniel Sturridge came on (against his former team) and changed the game. Within minutes he had rattled the post, and on 52 minutes, Suarez delivered a delicious, teasing cross, picking out his strike partner who buried the chance. It was the same combination that provided Liverpool's equaliser in injury time with Sturridge this time picking out Suarez in the box, who duly headed home.

Suarez' stupidity has left him with a ban, meaning he'll be unavailable until October. Of course the Uruguayan will be missed, and who wouldn't miss 23 goals? But if Liverpool can make it through those games unscathed (and have every chance of doing so with Sturridge flourishing in this centre-forward role), then they have a real opportunity. 

You mix the pin-point passing of Gerrard with the tackling of Lucas and then with the finishing of Suarez and Sturridge, you're left with a Liverpool outfit that must be taken seriously.

With Andy Carroll looking set to leave, they can afford to dip their toes into the transfer window ever so slightly to greaten their chance of a successful season. 

Perhaps finding a right-back to replace the painfully average Glen Johnson would be a wise move, but other than that I can see no reason why the current Liverpool squad can't challenge the two north London clubs for that fourth spot.

With Arsenal looking weaker season by season, and Tottenham being as inconsistent as ever, I'm certain that Liverpool will be (if Suarez refrains from biting more people) challenging for a Champions League place come the end of next season.

 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool
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