Premier League pundits have written off Liverpool’s hopes of a top four finish ahead of the new season.
As ever, each media organisation is offering their pundits’ predictions ahead of the new season.
Each of BBC Sport, The Guardian and The Telegraph’s cumulative average predictions has Liverpool placed outside of the top four.
BBC Sport’s overall predicted top four is:
2. Man City
3. Man United
New BBC pundit Phil Neville there predicting United to go from seventh to second, just like Liverpool last season.
Match of the Day commentator Conor McNamara explains:
“I left Liverpool out of my top four for the following reasons: Steven Gerrard performed miracles last season but he’s a year older now, the additional workload in the Champions League will affect their league form, no individual new signing can replace Suarez and there will be more pressure on the players because of the added expectation from the fans after last season.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian writers’ average predicted finish for Liverpool is fifth.
Andy Hunter writes:
Much depends on Lovren, the discipline of the three midfielders in front of him, Steven Gerrard’s reaction to what he described as “probably the worst three months of my life”, the continued upward trajectory of Raheem Sterling and the business Liverpool can or cannot conduct before close of play on 1 September.
Finally, only two of The Telegraph‘s nine pundits place Liverpool in their top four (Henry Winter and Chris Bascombe).
Of course, not many (see: none) of them had Liverpool to finish in the top four, let alone the top two, last season either.