Liverpool have a much more favorable end to this Premier League season than any of our rivals for the top four positions. We currently sit in fourth place with 56 points from 29 games while our rivals for the coveted fourth place, Manchester United and Arsenal, sit on 52 and 50 points respectively with only 27 games played.
While the games in hand may seem like a lifeline to both Man Utd and Arsenal, they are not easy games by any stretch of the imagination. Both Man Utd and Arsenal have to play an away fixture at Southampton while Arsenal also have a visit to the Emirates from a resurgent Leicester City as their games in hand.
Of the eleven games that Manchester United have left, they have a home tie against league leaders, Chelsea as well as three tough away fixtures against Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham.
Add to that the congested fixture list which could see them playing a game on average every 3.3 days as they compete on three fronts in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League and it looks like a big ask for them to make top four.
Arsenal also face Manchester City at the Emirates in their next game as well as an away game at Tottenham and the aforementioned game against Man Utd at the Emirates all before the season ends. They are also still competing in the FA Cup with Manchester City as their next opponents on April 23rd.
Tottenham will have to square up against both Arsenal and Manchester United at White Hart Lane and are also still involved in the FA Cup with an away tie against Chelsea scheduled for April 22nd.
Chelsea look all but out of sight with a 10 point lead over Tottenham but they still have tough fixtures at home to Manchester City and an away tie at Old Trafford that Liverpool will be hoping they can take maximum points from.
Liverpool have taken 20 points from a possible 30 available against or top six rivals this campaign but our final games of the season certainly wouldn’t be seen as difficult as our rivals as we do not face another top six team this season.
We have home games against Everton, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Middlesborough and away ties against Stoke City, West Brom, Watford and West Ham as our final nine games.
All of these games are certainly winnable games for Liverpool but for our tendency to perform poorly against the so called lower teams this season which has seen us lose to teams like Burnley, Bournemouth and Swansea during this campaign.
Reds supporters will be hoping that this trend has now been ended with our scrappy 2 – 1 victory over Burnley at Anfield earlier this month showing that we can grind out a result against the so called lower teams.
Hopefully this victory and the recent results against Arsenal and Manchester City can instill the confidence that has been lacking at times in Jurgen Klopp’s men this season that will see us through to the end of the season to maintain fourth place at the very minimum.
It’s now more important than ever that we put the final nine teams that we face to the sword without mercy and that we show the same fight and hunger against this opposition as we did against top six teams this season.
I, for one, feel that we can not only achieve a fourth place finish this May but that we can mount a genuine challenge for second place.
All will unfold over the next 10 weeks