Defeat at the hands of Manchester United has knocked the stuffing out of Liverpool’s top-four bid and it could yet get worse for the Reds in the run-in.
It’s amazing how quickly the tide can change in football and Liverpool are the latest side whose ambitions are in danger of being crashed against the rocks.
Going into their pivotal Premier League clash against bitter rivals United, Brendan Rodgers’ men were the form team in the top-flight, but in the blink of an eye odds of 23/20 to attain a Champions League place have ballooned out to 7/2.
In stark contrast, after prising open a five-point gap to Liverpool in fifth Louis van Gaal’s charges have shrivelled to 2/11.
Those two defeats to United which bookended Liverpool’s 13-game Premier League unbeaten run, look like proving the difference as it stands.
It doesn’t get any easier for Rodgers’ team either, facing a trip to the Arsenal next with new suspension and injury concerns hanging over the squad.
Steven Gerrard looks certain to be joined by Martin Skrtel on the Emirates ineligible list after Liverpool’s best centre-back was charged with violent conduct by the FA.
Meanwhile there are serious doubts over England pull-outs Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana who picked up injuries during defeat at Anfield.
Clearly Liverpool are capable of dusting themselves off, but suddenly maximum points at the Emirates feels essential and that feat has only been pulled off once in eight visits to the Gunners’ relatively new home.
The distraction of the FA Cup can be viewed as a nice one to have, but with the squad now stretched the top-four dream is in grave danger of ebbing away.
Only a point behind, but two places below, Tottenham’s odds of 8/11 for the top six have also adopted a pleasant ring following a return of nine points from their last four games.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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