Damon Savenelli takes a look at three ways in which Liverpool can rescue the 2016/17 consistent performances of high quality hard to come by.
With a great win against Spurs in the bag, Liverpool will use the win to hopefully resurrect their season. Up until this point, Liverpool have been sitting comfortably in the top four. Now sitting in fifth, Klopp’s men should be solely focusing on finishing in a Champions League spot.
Let’s be honest, it looks as though the title race is pretty much over at this point. After Chelsea’s convincing 3-1 over Arsenal a few weeks ago, it looks as though they could be on their way to another Premier League title.
Knocked out of both the EFL and FA Cup, the focus is entirely on the league now. Finishing inside the top four is crucial for Liverpool. As we have seen in the past, playing in the Champions League helps boost club revenue, attract top class players, and improves the club’s status on the whole. The race for top four is going to be a fight to the finish, but here are three ways that Liverpool can guarantee a top four finish.
Keep on beating the other teams in the top six
Although Liverpool’s record against the smaller PL teams has been woeful, their record against the top six has been solid. In fact, Liverpool have yet to lose to a team in the top six all season. With wins over Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester City, and Chelsea, Liverpool must continue this winning record if they hope to finish in the top four.
In all matches versus their top six opponents, Liverpool have only dropped eight points, giving them the best record in the league against the top six. Followed by Chelsea and Manchester City with 11, Tottenham and Manchester United with 12, and Arsenal with 13. As long as we continue to knock back our top four rivals every time we play them, we should be contenders for the Champions League qualification berths. The question is can we beat the small teams?
Learn how to beat smaller teams that continue to “park the bus”
That brings me to my next point. While Liverpool may have collected the most points in matches versus top six opponents, the Reds have the worst record in the top six when it comes to points dropped against lesser opponents. Topping the list, Chelsea have only dropped two points against a team that are not in the top six, showing why they are top of the league at present. Meanwhile, Liverpool have dropped a dreadful 18 points to teams outside of the top six. Manchester United have the next worst record against teams outside of the top six with 15 points dropped.
Playing poorly against smaller teams is a bad habit of Liverpool’s. I, along with many other writers of this site, have written about this topic many times in the past. It is a bad habit that will stop Liverpool from achieving success.
Liverpool need to work on their defence more
This has also been a problem for the Reds in the past few years. At times, our defence holds steady, but at other times, the backline is an absolute nightmare. Jöel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan, Joe Gomez, and even Lucas Leiva are Klopp’s current centre-back options. It is all we have for now, so Klopp must work with what he has until he can bring in reinforcements in the summer.
Rather than conceding soft goals against the likes of Swansea City and Hull City, our defence must hold strong. If the back line can stay composed and just hold strong, our attack will score plenty of goals.
Those are the three ways that Liverpool can rescue their season, and hope to finish inside the top four. I am just a football writer, but I hope Klopp continues to discipline his players and instil in them how important it is to finish in a Champions League spot. As fans, we will just have to hope that the players do all they can in order to finish strongly.
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