Liverpool must win against Manchester United or else they won’t be playing Champions League soccer next season
It’s been just over nine months since Liverpool won their first Premier League title ever and first league crown in 30 years. And not a lot has changed within the team when looking at the midfield and attack, the coaching staff, etc. But the defensive issues, brought on but what felt like scores of injuries, has seen them go from kings of Europe to potentially missing out on even Europa League. Add in the inconsistent form in attack, and it’s been a rough, unexpected season that will surely be trophy less.
Come season’s end, at worst, they’ll take Europa League, but it isn’t close to the standard that they have set just two years removed from beating Tottenham in Madrid to win their sixth Champions League crown.
To get into the top four and make the UCL, they have to catch fire with these last five games of the campaign. It all starts on Sunday with Manchester United at Old Trafford in one of the biggest rivalries in the world.
Make no mistake about it — Liverpool have to win on Sunday to have a realistic chance of making UCL. Anything short of that may just end up being the death blow in their pursuit of European qualification.
Here’s a closer look:
StandingsMan City, 80 points (34 GP)Man United, 67 points (33 GP)Leicester City, 63 points (34 GP)Chelsea, 61 points (34 GP)West Ham, 55 points (33 GP)Liverpool, 54 points (33 GP)Tottenham, 53 points (33 GP)Everton, 52 points (33 GP)
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What it takes to get into UCL
Across the last six seasons, the average points needed to get into UCL has been about 70. On two occasions, 66 has gotten a couple teams in, but the average is specifically 70.6 points.
Liverpool currently have 54 points, meaning they would likely need 16 points to lock up a spot comfortably. Of course, that is impossible considering only 15 points remain up for grabs, capping them at 69 points. But fail to win on Sunday, and they could only get 67 at most, and that is with them winning out after tomorrow.
Now, that is a tall task because Liverpool haven’t strung together four consecutive wins in the league this season even once.
they also have other teams around them competing for that fourth spot, which is currently occupied by Cheseal, who have a six-point cushion.
You can watch the game live on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET on fuboTV (Try for free).
Upcoming scheduleSunday — at Man UnitedMay 8 — vs. SouthamptonMay 16 — at West BromMay 19 — at BurnleyMay 23 — vs. Crystal PalaceIs there a chance?
I’m not one to say it is over, but Liverpool have to win. If they do, they’ll still have an outside shot to beat Chelsea, climbing within four with four games to go.
The Blues could be shifting their total focus soon towards what’s to come — which includes the FA Cup final and potentially the Champions League final. Also consider that they still have to face City, Arsenal, Leicester and Aston Villa in league play, and some slip-ups will be expected.
But worrying about other clubs won’t help.
Liverpool’s issues run deeper, mainly with Virgil van Dijk’s injury against Everton essentially costing them their season.
But with 450 minutes remaining on the pitch in the Premier League, there is still all to fight for.
It hasn’t been perfect this season — not even close. But for them to get into UCL with a hot finish, they are going to have to be near perfect just to have an outside shot.
Win Sunday, and they live to fight another day.
Drop points, and the UCL dream is over for a club synonymous with the competition’s history.