Can Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool make a push for a Top-four spot?

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /

One season after missing out on quadruple perfection by a few goals, this season’s Liverpool side have been virtually unnoticeable. Out of Europe, out of both domestic competitions and sitting in 6th in the Premier League seven points off of Champions League qualification.

Fans and journalists alike have been quick to point at what has been a dysfunctional midfield so far this season. A midfield that has been promised a massive overhaul during the summer spearheaded by the continued rumours of a Jude Bellingham arrival. With flashes of potential in other parts of the pitch through the likes of Ibrahima Konate and Darwin Nunez, giving up on the current season and hoping to go again with a new look midfield next year is becoming an increasingly popular view among onlookers. However, there is still hope to save the season. While a tough task, fighting their way into the top-four isn’t impossible.

This is currently where Liverpool sit compared to the other teams in the Top-seven:

  • 3rd – Manchester United — 26 MP — 50 PTS — +6
  • 4th – Tottenham — 28 MP — 49 PTS — +12
  • 5th – Newcastle — 26 MP — 47 PTS — +20
  • 6th – Liverpool — 26 MP — 42 PTS — +18
  • 7th – Brighton — 25 MP — 42 PTS — +15

One way to figure out if teams will make the top four is looking at what it took to do so in past years .

This is the points total and points per game of fourth place over the last five years compared to the teams in contention this season:

Last Five Seasons:

  • 17/18 (75 points) — 1.97
  • 18/19 (71 points) — 1.86
  • 19/20 (66 points) — 1.73
  • 20/21 (67 points) — 1.76
  • 21/22(71 points) — 1.86

This Season:

  • Man U – 1.92
  • Tottenham – 1.75
  • Newcastle – 1.80
  • Liverpool – 1.61
  • Brighton – 1.68

According to points per game Liverpool is well below the pace for a Top-four finish which would be expected. However, one thing Liverpool fans should think about is unlike the last couple of years this isn’t like a title race against Manchester City where anything other than win was a failure. Teams fighting for Top-four are much less consistent and tend to lose and draw a lot more. While Liverpool have been inconsistent this season it does mean if they  can find a good run of form it most likely would put them right back where they need to be.

According to Opta Newcastle has the hardest run in out of all of the contending teams with Brighton, Liverpool and Tottenham all having very similar levels of difficulty.

This all adds up to the next three games being crucial to the season for the Reds. Losing all three against City, Chelsea and Arsenal would all but drop them out of contention. Winning all three would be a dream, but winning just two out of three puts them in a decent position if they can win games they should win down the stretch. Which notably has been a struggle so far this season. Fans will hope a Luis Diaz return is what the team needs to start winning those type of games.

It is also important to note that no team has made the Top-four with less than 66 points since Everton in 2004-05 with a points total of 61. Which means Liverpool needs at a minimum 24 points out of the possible 36 to give them the best chance at qualification. This means they need to gain 2 points per game or more for the rest of the season, which is well above their current 1.61. If they do get less than 24 points fans will have to hope history repeats itself as Liverpool found a way to beat out Newcastle for a Top-four place in 2003-04 with a points total of only 60 meaning they only gained 1.58 points per game that season. A lot would have to go right for that to repeat itself. But less would have to go right for Liverpool to beat Newcastle for a Top-four spot.

Long story short Liverpool need to win some games. Liverpool have achieved much harder feats before under Jurgen Klopp but the season to this point suggests a large turn of form is necessary for them to achieve Champions League Qualification. And we’ll probably know where the season will end up after the next three games.