Liverpool have been the best team in the country so far this year, but there’s still plenty left to do…
Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he’s aiming for 20 points from Liverpool’s final nine Premier League games. It’s a tally that would take the Reds to 74 points and, according to our boss, secure a top four finish.
We only took 22 points from our first 17 matches, but have taken 32 out of a possible 36 since Christmas to move us within two points of fourth place Manchester United, and the final Champions League spot.
The Liverpool Echo has backed Rodgers’ desired points tally, and has even mapped out how we’d get there. Despite, these assurances, 74 points would not have been enough for a top four finish last season, so take a look at the list below and see if you agree… Do we need more?
March 22, Liverpool v Man Utd – WIN (new points tally – 57)
We can immediately become firm favourites for a top four finish with a win over United on Sunday. Frustratingly, our rivals have been getting positive results despite some fairly uninspiring performances for the last few months, but last weekend Louis Van Gaal masterminded their best performance of the season against Tottenham Hotspur – a comprehensive 3-0 victory. We shouldn’t be short on motivation as we aim to avenge December’s 3-0 defeat – which was far closer than the scoreline suggested given the chances we missed – and it’s no surprise that the Echo has recognised this fixture’s importance.
April 4, Arsenal v Liverpool – DRAW (new points tally – 58)
Arsenal are the Premier League’s most in-form side, other than ourselves of course, and the prospect of a trip to the Emirates Stadium is not an inviting one right now. Arsenal have only lost one home match all season – to Manchester United, back in November – and have claimed all three points in their last eight home Premier League games.
The Gunners have just been knocked out the Champions League, but as with every season, they went out as gallant losers rather than with their tail between their legs, and are unlikely to be too sapped by morale. Arsene Wenger’s men were clearly second best on the field at Anfield, but were an injury time Martin Skrtel header away from victory. They can be ruthless when in the mood, and The Echo quite rightly suggests that if we can secure a point, then it will be a good result.
April 13, Liverpool v Newcastle – WIN (new points tally – 61)
Newcastle have been struggling under interim boss John Carver, and this should be as close to a given as will be going. They’ve lost ten of their last sixteen Premier League games, and the six consecutive wins of October and November under Alan Pardew seem a very long time ago. The Magpies won’t be relegated, and they won’t be troubling the European places either. However, as the Echo points out, it would be foolish to underestimate any Premier League side – even one that has next to nothing to play for.
April 18, Hull v Liverpool – DRAW (new points tally – 62)
The Echo has surprisingly predicted a draw at the KC Stadium, although admittedly it was a venue that saw us lose last season. We were beaten 3-1 last time out, and we’ll need to be at our best to avoid a similar fate against Steve Bruce’s side, who could well be in the depths of a relegation battle.
Hull haven’t beaten a team in the top half of the table all season, but have managed to draw with us, Manchester City and Arsenal, and the fixture is certainly something of a banana skin Brendan Rodgers will need to approach with caution.