Gary Neville reckons we’re the worst of the teams competing for the top four.
The former Manchester United defender, who was a sworn enemy of Liverpool during his time as a player, thinks our occasional inability to beat teams who sit back and bypass our original press with long-balls is a serious problem.
He does however acknowledge that our kind fixture list and the fact we’re not competing in any cup competitions will boost our chances.
“There are going to be two big clubs and big managers to drop out of the top four,” Neville said in his podcast, cited by the Echo.
“You’d have to say, at this moment in time, if every team had the same games towards the end of the season, I think Liverpool could be in trouble.
“They could potentially be the weakest in some ways, but the fact they’ve got a really good run does give them an advantage to get in there. But it’s so tight and it changes week by week.
“This current Liverpool are held back by the fact they haven’t got the strongest squad, but they have been helped this season by the fact they’ve got a good programme.
“They don’t have a Plan B in terms of being able to control the game in a different style, and when teams don’t allow them to use their energy to press they’re far less effective. They have a great chance of getting into the top four, but they do have to overcome this style problem.”
If anything, our supposedly ‘kind’ fixture list works against us, considering our record against teams in the top half is significantly better than sides at the bottom.
We struggled to a win against Burnley on Sunday, but felt much more comfortable at home to Spurs and Arsenal, the previous two home matches.
It’s Manchester City next, and you can be sure a team managed by Pep Guardiola will stubbornly play football and try to dominate possession, which actually benefits us.
If we can isolate John Stones on the ball and play with energy around Yaya Toure, we could do to the Sky Blues what we managed to last year at the Etihad – win convincingly.