Liverpool hold one undeniable advantage in the race for top four. The Reds currently sit sixth in the Premier League.
Remember when Liverpool were going to retain the title? Christmas, really. It’s been one hell of a fall over the last two and a half months.
Instead of title dreams, Liverpool now just hope to make the top four. It’ll be a fight, too. The Reds are weak, after all, after an injury crisis tore through their plans.
They’re effectively trying to see if they can still be one of the best four teams in England without any of their centre-backs. Ridiculously, they actually might be.
Finishing top four means more than all of that, of course. It gets you into next year’s Champions League and that’s worth a fortune.
That value only increases in these times when clubs are unsure about spending in any great amounts. Especially one as cautious as Liverpool.
If the club wants to invest in their squad this summer, though, they pretty much need to qualify for the Champions League. Otherwise, life gets a lot harder.
Fortunately, Liverpool hold an advantage in the top four race. It’s one that only improves in a week, too.
Liverpool only have to play two more games against the current top eight. They’ve already faced Manchester City, Leicester City, West Ham United, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur twice.
No one else has that few games against top opposition. The next fewest is Spurs with three but you’d argue they’re the least-likely to qualify.
Everyone else has four, except for Leicester and United. They have five.
This carries two advantages, really. Firstly, that Liverpool will have an easier fixture list than the rest.
The other side is that Liverpool’s top-four rivals all have to repeatedly play each other. That guarantees dropped points somewhere for someone.
And this advantage only strengthens this week. Liverpool play one of their two games as they host Chelsea on Thursday.
So in a week’s time, they’ll only have a game against United when it comes to this top eight. Everyone else will have at least three to worry about.
Liverpool’s fixture list eases up, while everyone else faces multiple big games where someone drops points. It’s undeniably an advantage for the Reds as they look to secure top four.