‘It’s a big if…’ – Ex-Anfield striker drops Liverpool top four claim after Elland Road romp

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Michael Owen has said that Liverpool’s remaining fixtures present them with a slight chance of still finishing inside the top four of the Premier League this season but doesn’t think they’ll be consistent enough to pull it off.

After thrashing Leeds 6-1 on Monday night, the Reds sit nine points off fourth-placed Newcastle with a game in hand, with the Magpies taking on their nearest challengers Tottenham this Sunday.

The gap could be down to six points by then if Jurgen Klopp’s side win at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with the Merseysiders having five of their last eight matches at Anfield and the other three away to teams placed 15th or lower.

At surface level, that looks a far from daunting run-in with which to try and bridge the gap to the Champions League positions, but Owen fears that the inconsistency which has left Liverpool eighth in the table will continue to hinder their top-four hopes.

The former Reds striker told Premier League Productions [via The Mirror]: “That is a lovely run-in, isn’t it? With all due respect, it’s a lovely run-in for them, and if they did win every game then they’re going to get top four, I fancy.

“But it’s a big if. They’re too inconsistent – they have been all season, so why, all of a sudden, are they going to go and win eight or nine games on the spin?

“So I can’t see it happening. But you could say there’s still a little flicker and a little chink of light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Trying to predict Liverpool’s results this season comes with an element of Russian roulette, given how we’ve beaten five of the current top six but also lost to four of the bottom eight.

Putting on our glasses of optimism, wins over Forest and West Ham in the next seven days – coupled with Newcastle losing to Spurs – would move us to within three points of the latter two by the time they play their respective next games.

That would bring the top four firmly into focus, although the Reds have only once put together more than two consecutive wins in the Premier League this season – and even that was a four-game sequence split evenly either side of the World Cup break.

It sounds very simplistic but it’s very much true – Liverpool simply need to hoover up as many points as they can muster from their own games and not squander any opportunities given to them by slip-ups from those teams immediately ahead of them in the table.

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