The start of the 2015/16 English Premier League season has already presented some astonishing results. Title favourites Chelsea are currently contesting to stay out of the relegation zone rather than contesting a top 4 finish to make it into the Champions League next season. This has left the field wide open for a champions league spot and most would usually put Liverpool as a strong favourite to secure a place based on their pool of talent.
Liverpool have also been experiencing a slump of their own over the past year and changes were made when Brandon Hodges was axed as Liverpool manager in October. Former Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp was brought in to rejuvenate a talented squad that includes Daniel Sturridge. The club is optimistic that he can replicate the success that he showed at Borussia Dortmund where he managed the team to a Champions League appearance. The Liverpool team has undergone significant changes into this season with the exit of experienced Liverpool stars Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. Despite the changes, Klopp should be able to breathe a new lease of life into the team that will allow them to bounce back from their slump and gatecrash the top four places.
How realistic does Liverpool’s chances look?
Liverpool are currently sitting in tenth place on the table. They are considered to be an outside chance due to the calibre of the other teams that are ahead of them at the moment. There are the usual top four suspects – Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal ahead of them. However, the start of the season has also presented a series of dark horses vying for the title race such as Leicester City, West Ham, Everton and Crystal Palace as teams that shouldn’t be discounted. Also, the performance of some of the big clubs that have started the season poorly, such as Chelsea, Aston Villa and Newcastle may cause upsets that could further impact the outcome of the season. Calling the Premier league odds at the moment is a tough one, but it is fair to say that Liverpool are an outside chance of getting a place.
Positive change is needed if Liverpool are to secure a top 4 spot this season.
Despite the early performance of the team, there are still several games to go. Positive changes and motivation is needed by the players, the management, the board and the supporters. Klopp has made it clear that the club needs to eradicate the ‘toxicity and pessimism’ as a starting point towards ending the club’s misery. The need is for the team to score winning goals. Since Klopp’s appointment as Liverpool manager, he has said that Liverpool has become much harder to beat due to them adopting a more aggressive ‘fighting football style’ in their gameplay. Their defensive gameplay seems to be getting better, but they have still conceded 14 goals to date that has caused them to draw many of their games. The team cannot let the pressure get to them. It is up to the players to hold their nerve and score winning goals, while they maintain a strong line of defense if they want to break into the top four, let alone qualify for a Europa spot. They currently sit seven points behind a top four finish and a few consistent wins can put the team into serious contention to secure a place. The frailties that have previously been exposed and the deficiencies with their set pieces must improve.
The opportunity for Liverpool to make the top four is a real possibility, but they must start winning matches consistently to make it happen. They have a fierce race ahead of them, but with a strong leader and a talented squad, they can turn their season around and be the dark horse that claims one of the prestigious four spots.
Read More: Can Liverpool Make the Top 4?