The three reasons why Liverpool really are a title threat

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Liverpool’s goal-fest victory over Stoke ensured they moved back into the top four and to within six points of Premier League leaders Arsenal with 17 games remaining during the season.

The result prompted Reds boss Brendan Rodgers to insist that his side really are title contenders, with Ladbrokes less than convinced over the Merseyside club’s ability to lift the trophy, rating them as 9/1 fourth-favourites for glory.

This isn’t just another David Brent impression from the Liverpool manager, though, as there is a three-point case to be made why Anfield could see the Premier League trophy paraded around the pitch by Steven Gerrard come the end of the season.

The big guns all to play at Anfield

Liverpool’s strong stance among the division’s top-four, a foothold they are 8/13 to keep hold of come the end of the season, is built around their unwavering ability to win games at home.

All bar one of this season’s visitors to Liverpool’s back yard have been defeated and the fact that Liverpool have six of the current top eight to play at Anfield before the campaign comes to a close, works considerably in their favour.

Taking points off the teams around them is a surefire way of climbing the league ladder and Rodgers will be aware that the home games against Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal represent title-defining matches.

Drama-free Luis Suarez

For once, transfer rumours are not swirling around the red half of Merseyside about their striking lynchpin.

With Suarez’s new contract signed and filed, the Uruguayan is free to pursue his barrage on league defences.

His lack of disciplinary problems so far also counts as a major plus point when weighing up Liverpool’s title credentials.

New role for Steven Gerrard

For the Stoke victory, the Liverpool captain was deployed in a deeper, quarterback type role.

In a nod to Paul Scholes’ later years at Manchester United, Liverpool can reap the benefits of Gerrard’s experience and passing ability, while prolonging his career and allowing younger players, like Jordan Henderson, to flourish in a more advanced position.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.