Liverpool and the race for the top four

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Liverpool’s 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United on March 5th was meant to be the resurrection of their season.

Defeats for Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur the same weekend saw the gap between the top four and the Reds drop to just three points, and Jurgen Klopp’s side had a game in hand on the team above.

A trip to a set of south coast relegation candidates in Bournemouth the following weekend was supposed to be the perfect tonic for the Anfield club to press home their European credentials.

Instead, though, Liverpool slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the Vitality Stadium in the weekend’s early kickoff. To make matters even more unpleasant, talismanic winger Mo Salah blasted a late penalty well wide of the mark to ensure that it was the hosts that picked up three massive points. And as the weekend progressed, things got progressively worse.

Fourth-placed Spurs beat Nottingham Forest by three goals to one in North London on Saturday afternoon. The following day, fifth-placed Newcastle United – who have two games in hand on ‘Pool and three games in hand on Spurs – ground out a hard-fought win against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Even Chelsea threw their name back into the mix with a 3-1 victory away at Leicester City, although they will need a miracle if they are to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Considering this, Bodog, a reputable sports betting platform in Canada, still makes Klopp’s Reds one of the contenders for the top four this season.

The Anfield faithful will be hoping that their recent upturn in form will ensure they can secure their seat at European football’s most elite of dinner tables at the end of the season. But with these teams all in contention, qualification is certainly not guaranteed.

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Tottenham Hotspur – Currently 6th

With Arsenal and Manchester City fighting it out for the title and Manchester United sat in fourth – 13 points behind the leaders but nine points ahead of Spurs with two games in hand – it seems like fourth place is the only remaining Champions League spot left to battle it out for. And there are as many as seven teams battling out for that coveted fourth place.

Ryan Mason’s side suffered a controversial 4-3 defeat at Anfield following Diogo Jota’s late winner, which saw the Merseysiders leapfrog their opponents into fifth place. They were also recently eliminated from continental football following a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Italian Champions AC Milan.

Fans at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium have been unhappy for a while. Rumours persist Julian Nagelsmann could be the man to replace Antonio Conte in the summer, though the future of star striker Harry Kane remains far from certain.

Newcastle United – Currently 3rd

One of a number of teams to take the Premier League by storm this season is Newcastle United. The Magpies have picked up a number of impressive results including victories over Spurs and Chelsea, as well as a 3-3 draw with Manchester City at St. James’ Park. Despite a post-World Cup drop in form, the club has picked up where it left off and looks a dead-cert to finish in the top four.

Their recent hammerings of Tottenham (6-1), Everton (4-1) and Southampton (3-1) showcase a side with every intention of securing Champions League football.

Unfortunately, we just can’t see the wheels coming off of Eddie Howe’s men at this late stage in the season.

Brighton (8th), Fulham (10th), Brentford (9th) & Chelsea (12th)

Speaking of outsiders, there are currently four teams on the periphery of the race for the top four.

The first three of those teams have had a season to remember, and each one will aim to seal a finish of seventh place at least in order to secure UEFA Europa Conference League football next term.

Chelsea on the other hand have had a disastrous campaign. Caretaker manager Frank Lampard has shown no signs of steadying the ship and the London-based outfit is heading straight for an even deeper level of mediocrity in the English top-flight.

It’s safe to say Liverpool’s competition is far more likely to come in the form of Roberto de Zerbi’s Seagulls.

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