Paul Merson believes the race to finish in the top four this season could be the toughest yet – but ultimately believes Liverpool will retain their place at the expense of one of their rivals.
Manchester City are currently at the top of the Premier League. Their 18 successive victories in all competitions allowed them to open a 10 point lead at the top. For this reason, Merson believes Pep Guardiola’s side will achieve a third title in four seasons. Discuss their shape, Raheem Sterling has named the two men he believes deserve all the credit.
The race for the second, third and fourth, however, looks much closer. With Leicester and West Ham up to the task and with a shout out, the struggles for Tottenham and Liverpool should ensure a fascinating end to the season. Everton cannot be reduced either.
Indeed, such have been the struggles of Spurs, a report released on Tuesday suggested that a top German boss was in line to succeed Jose Mourinho.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have lost four in a row at Anfield. This prompted Trent Alexander-Arnold to assess where it all went wrong for Jurgen Klopp’s team..
Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, refused to apologize after his criticism sparked an angry backlash from Liverpool fans.
Merson, however, believes Liverpool will pull themselves together and should have enough to finish in the top four. He believes the Hammers won’t last the course and also believes Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea could be missing as well.
“Man City is, obviously – that’s the easy part,” Merson said Sky Sports. “Then I have to stay with Manchester United and Leicester, which are a very good team. The first three will stay there now, in my opinion.
“After that, it’s so difficult. You know me, I don’t like to sit on the fence. But I find it really difficult to pick a team for the last place.
“Despite their great season so far, I don’t see West Ham going the distance – and that means a place is up for grabs.
“Moyes’ side have been brilliant, but I’ve seen enough in that second half against Spurs to tell me it’s too much for them to do in the recall of the season.
“Everton have the list of games for a challenge, but I’m worried about their consistency. For me, it’s between Chelsea and Liverpool for this last place.
“If Chelsea have a good March, that’s it. But I’m afraid Chelsea will score enough goals. I can’t see them wowing the teams. “
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Chance against Liverpool, says Merson
This leaves Merson to conclude that he believes Liverpool will claim last place. Although he admits the odds are against them, he says Jurgen Klopp’s team will find a way.
“I’ve always said Liverpool will get there, but when the going is good it’s so hard to stick with them, at the moment,” Merson added.
“It’s hard to get away from their form and the fact that luck is not with them.
“You look at the games they’ve lost, and you look at the games they have coming up and you wonder if they can turn the tide. They should beat Sheffield United but there is doubt there, especially without defenders.
“I have shown so much self-confidence, but the players keep dropping like flies. The only player I want on the field out of all of their players right now is Jordan Henderson.
“When things aren’t going well, he’s the leader. It is the player who makes people move. With him now out of the squad, it’s a bit worrying.
“I feel like I’m just going with the name and not looking at performance and results. The teams they did not beat are very worrying.
“I don’t know why, but I have to stay with Liverpool. Please don’t ask me why, but I still have faith in Jurgen Klopp and by his side.
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