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Stats, hunger and desire: Why Liverpool should qualify for the Champions League

Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League last season, some 28 points adrift of champions Manchester United. More significantly, perhaps, they ended the campaign 12 shy of fourth-placed Arsenal.

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When asked in May about his hopes for the year ahead, boss Brendan Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo:

“What we need in the second year of this project is to find a great level of consistency. There is a process of getting into the top four and becoming champions and that is consistency.

I’ve loved every minute of being here and the small steps of where we want to go. But now I want to make bigger steps.”

The Reds have clearly found that consistency and currently sit in the all-important fourth position after 20 games. Whilst staying there will prove challenging, here are three reasons why I believe they have every chance of doing so:

1. Luis Suarez is playing the best football of his career

The Uruguayan international struck an impressive 23 goals in 33 top-flight starts last term. He has taken things to a whole new level this time around though, bagging 20 in just 15 Premier League appearances.

Were he to revert to his 2012/13 scoring levels, then he would still strike 13 more times. Furthermore, that figure would rise to 24 should he continue at his current rate.

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Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard are capable of contributing on this front as well, so the team possesses the firepower to succeed.

2. Toughest tests come at Anfield

Liverpool have already played six of the current top-eight away from home:

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A trip to Old Trafford represents their toughest remaining fixture, though David Moyes’ men have been struggling on their own patch recently.

Manchester United, Tottenham and Everton are the Reds’ most likely challengers for fourth, but they each have at least three tough away days on the horizon.

3. Inexperience and inconsistency amongst their challengers

Everton have attracted plenty of praise since Roberto Martinez took up the reins, yet they have little experience of qualifying for the Champions League.

The same could be said of Tottenham, particularly with Tim Sherwood now at the helm.

Manchester United, on the other hand, know exactly what is required to succeed. They are going through a transitional period, however, and it is difficult to see them finding their best form any time soon.

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You could argue that Liverpool have not dined much at the top table of European football in recent years, but that should make them hungrier than ever to get back there.

See more Liverpool and Premier League stats at Kickoff.co.uk

All posts are reactively-moderated and must obey the comment policy.
  • Redblooded Male

    We need to lay off all this top 4 talk, because if we fail to qualify after all this build up, the disappointment will be all the more painful.

    • http://enria.org/ JonnyS

      quite right. There’s so much work to be done and every game is critical otherwise it’s all too easy to fall back behind others who may well go on good runs themselves.

  • http://enria.org/ JonnyS

    you could also say that’s boosted our home form so far.

    So while we might get a better return away from home from now on, we may get a poorer return at home.

  • cambo

    Suarez is the main man firing at the moment with the rest of the team only playing a few really good games. I believe as the rest of the team start to play better football as they started to in the second half of last season we should be able to push on.

  • http://enria.org/ JonnyS

    usual problem of comment being moderated. Nothing to do with disqus. just this site. A real pain.

  • allaboutanfield

    Liverpool need to constantly pick up points. They can’t afford to lose any more games due to silly errors. Then Liverpool would stand a good chance of qualifying for CL.

  • http://www.lucidlingo.com.au/ Gazman

    Not as confident as some regarded top 4 although we are in with a good shout as the foundation has been laid in the first half of the season. The reason why: 1) we rely heavily on Suarez – too much in fact. I can’t think of any of the top 4-5 teams as reliant on one player. The Uruguayan not only supplies goals but also plenty of assists. Should anything befall him we are effectively stuffed. 2) Our midfield and fullbacks are not supplying many goals and in the likes of Henderson and Allen and Lucas I can’t see that changing. All three have not proven to be regular scorers in their career to date. Gerrard can of course but by playing him deep as we have seen so far, his potential as a scorer is diminished. 3) Our defense has proven shaky so far and that has not been helped by BR chopping and changing his centre-half pairings. 4) BR still makes some rather strange tactical and selection decisions. 5) The team is capable of meltdowns like we saw at Hull. 6) Lack of depth, not helped by no new recruits even though we are halfway through January. Fingers crossed we can make it, but would you put your house on it?

    • Prince

      Its no relying on him he is just so good and hard to ignore(BR STATED team is build around suarez. We won games without him so your points are irrelevant. Only thing u said that makes sense is the lack of depth.

  • John Rambo

    Liverpool has no chance for CHL.

  • CARR71

    totally agree the atmosphere is becoming dire crank up the volume

  • twodifour

    It was a good win for the lads and Brendan certainly knows what he is doing. I have a hard time seeing Stevie playing defense thou he did a great job. He needs to be up front, just my thoughts. And yes they have what it takes to be playing champions league.