'No surprise' if Liverpool fail to finish in top four, says Redknapp
Jamie Redknapp says it would be ‘no surprise’ if Liverpool fail to finish in the top four because ‘there is nothing to be scared of’ in Jurgen Klopp’s injury-stricken Premier League holders
- Liverpool head into the weekend’s fixtures five points off fourth-place West Ham
- Jurgen Klopp’s men have lost each of their last four Premier League games
- The champions will also be without captain Jordan Henderson for two months
- Jamie Redknapp believes opposition sides should not be scared of the Reds
Jamie Redknapp believes it would be more surprising if champions Liverpool do finish in the Champions League places than if they miss out on the top four.
The Reds head into Sunday evening’s game against Sheffield United having suffered defeat in their last four Premier League games, three of which have come at Anfield against Brighton, Manchester City and Merseyside rivals Everton.
Jurgen Klopp’s men currently sit sixth in the table, five points behind fourth-place West Ham, and suffered another injury blow with captain Jordan Henderson facing two months out with a groin problem.
Jamie Redknapp admits he would not be surprised if Liverpool do not finish in the top four
Jurgen Klopp has seen his side fall to defeat in each of their last four top-flight matches
The England international’s injury will force Klopp to field another centre-back partnership, which has caused real issues for the German and has played a part in them conceding 34 league goals this season, one more than they did in the whole of their victorious campaign last year.
And speaking to Sky Sports’ Pitch to Post Podcast, Redknapp believes the confidence has been sapped from the champions and claims there is now ‘nothing’ for opposition sides to be scared about when facing the Reds as long as they keep their front three quiet.
‘They might not finish top four,’ Redknapp said. ‘It wouldn’t be a surprise – it’s actually more of a surprise if they did finish top four in the form they’re in.
‘You’re trying to work in a system but confidence is low. You can talk about the team playing higher up the pitch, all these little factors, but if you’re conceding goals all the time, and that fear factor is gone, it doesn’t really matter what you do because Liverpool are just struggling for confidence.
Their injury crisis has also worsened with captain Jordan Henderson set to miss two months
Redknapp believes the combination of injuries and bad form could be fatal for their Champions League hopes
‘Everton went there and as soon as they scored that first goal you could see the players’ shoulders start to go, they started to lose belief in what they were doing and it is inevitable you end up losing games.
‘And that back two, right now, whoever they end up with because of the personnel they have at their disposal, is a team which would struggle. That’s not a good back four in any team in the Premier League, let alone Liverpool who are the title-holders.
‘There’s nothing to be scared of about Liverpool right now. This is a team you can get after, certainly defensively, make sure you don’t give away silly mistakes or let Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane do something special, and you’ve got every chance of winning it because the midfield and defence is decimated.’
Klopp’s champions now trail City by 19 points with just 13 games remaining in the season and look destined to hand their crown back to Pep Guardiola’s men at the end of the season.
He claimed clubs have nothing to fear if they keep Mohamed Salah (centre), Sadio Mane (right) and Roberto Firmino (left) quiet
But he maintained his side will still have achieved something significant this season if they can finish in the top four, but is wary of the threat posed by resurgent sides like Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, who sit three points and one place above them.
‘Yes it would be big,’ said Klopp. ‘You can see the competitors. It is about what we can bring on the pitch. It is about results. The table doesn’t lie. We know that points-wise we are not that far away, but results-wise we are.
‘That is what we have to change. We try but while we try and sort one problem another problem occurs. We have to think about Sheffield United. If we can do that then we are maybe a step closer but then Chelsea is coming!
‘So, if we were to do it in the end… yes, it would be big.’
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