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Another Liverpool blank leave a top half finish their best hope

| 08.10.2012

Liverpool continued to stutter under Brendan Rodgers by drawing a blank at home to a Stoke side who never looked in danger of losing at Anfield.

The Reds fell even further off the pace in the race for a top-four finish, which they’re priced at 10/1 to achieve. Ladbrokes still seem confident that they’ll make the top-six if the 11/10 they’re offering is anything to go by.

This bet should be avoided at all costs given the way Liverpool have been playing. A feisty showing against Man United and a mauling of Norwich led many to believe that they’d turned a corner but, judging by their most recent performance, these notions were premature.

They deserved maximum points from the United game but, ultimately, got nothing, whereas they did take Norwich to pieces, the Canaries are a poor side with serious defensive concerns and any top-flight establishment would have ran riot that day.

If six points aren’t picked up in their next two home games – relegation-fodder Reading and out of sorts Swansea – then the pressure will really start to mount on Rodgers, especially if he loses the Merseyside derby at Everton sandwiched in between.

With six points from seven games and, crucially, still no win in front of the Anfield crowd, the start the Northern Irishman has made has been disappointing to say the least and, while Kenny Dalglish may have flattered to deceive at times last season, his side often looked dangerous; they just lacked a bit of killer instinct where it mattered.

Liverpool were toothless in taking on the Potters; it’s questionable whether they would have scored should the game still be going on now. Their top-six finish price – something they’ve failed to do twice in the past three years – is way too short and their Champions League qualification chances aren’t much better.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Author

James Middleton