Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has backed Liverpool to buck their poor form and finish the Premier League season strong.
The Reds have lost their last four domestic games with very few positives coming from their performances, but it’s hard to ignore the star quality of Mo Salah and co., even on their worst days.
Merson believes the top three for this season is already sewn up – Manchester City, United and Leicester – but the Sky Sports pundit thinks the final Champions League spot is wide open.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham and even Arsenal are all in a realistic position to fight for fourth, but the former Gunner fancies the Reds to edge out the capital-based competition.
“This is so difficult. You know me, I don’t like to sit on the fence, but I’m finding it really hard to pick a team for the final [Champions League] spot,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“Despite their superb season so far, I don’t see West Ham lasting the distance, and that means a spot is up for grabs. ‘Moyes’ side have been brilliant, but I saw enough in that second half against Spurs to tell me it’s just too much for them to do in the reminder of the season.
“Everton have got the fixture list to make a challenge, but I do worry about their consistency. For me, it’s between Chelsea and Liverpool for that final spot.
“I’ve always said Liverpool will make it but when push comes to shove, it so hard to stick with them, at the moment. It’s hard to get away from their form and the fact the luck is not with them.
“It feels like I’m just going with the name and not looking at the performances and results. The teams they haven’t beaten is very worrying. I don’t know why, but I have to stick with Liverpool. Please don’t ask me why but I’m keeping the faith with Jurgen Klopp and his side.”
It seems a little harsh to eliminate Everton from talk of the top four race, but it’s hard to disagree with Merson – the Blues haven’t been consistent at all this season.
Liverpool have been down in the dumps over the last couple of months, but with Fabinho, Naby Keita and Diogo Jota set to make their returns to fitness, you’d have to back the Reds to regain some of their form soon.
If the reigning champions are able to claw back even 50% of their powers, they’ll skate into fourth place over the next few weeks or so and be difficult to budge.