Liverpool could qualify for Champions League thanks to Man United – but what has to happen next

While Jurgen Klopp continues to publicly play down Liverpool’s probabilities of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, you surprise how he feels behind the scenes.

The Reds got contemporary hope on Sunday, following their 1-0 win over Brentford the day earlier than, as Newcastle United misplaced 2-0 at house to Arsenal earlier than Manchester United misplaced 1-0 away at West Ham United.

Both defeats imply Liverpool stay solely a degree off the highest 4, with the Red Devils a degree above them in fourth and the Magpies two factors clear in third. However, each side do have video games in hand on Klopp’s aspect, whereas seventh-positioned Brighton & Hove Albion, who at present sit seven factors behind the Reds, have the potential to leapfrog them into fifth courtesy of three video games in hand.

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As a end result, Liverpool’s destiny is in the end not in their very own fingers. They could win their three remaining matches and nonetheless find yourself dropping a place and ending the season in sixth. But their eight-sport unbeaten run and 6-match profitable streak has a minimum of given them a preventing likelihood as we enter the Premier League’s closing straight.

If Newcastle or Manchester United drop additional factors, they’re able to take benefit. At the very least, if Brighton drop factors, they’re nicely-positioned to safe fifth and Europa League qualification.

“I’ve mentioned it earlier than, different groups are in a lot better positions,” Klopp mentioned earlier than dealing with Brentford when requested about Liverpool’s outdoors prime 4 hopes. “As lengthy as they win soccer video games, now we have no likelihood.

“We have to preserve groups behind us, which not all of them we are able to do on our personal. If Brighton wins all their video games till the tip of the season, and with how they performed final evening (when beating Manchester United), that is doable. Again, unimaginable efficiency to be trustworthy. Really, actually good soccer sport.

“That did not change. We have 59? United has 63. We can get 71, most. For that, United wants eight factors from 5 (video games), from 15 (factors). I feel they are going to do this to be trustworthy. They win three video games from the remainder and that is it for us.”

Make that United want eight factors from 4 video games and 12 factors, after dropping to West Ham United. Except they don’t. While eight factors would certainly get them to 71 factors, in the event that they completed stage on factors with Liverpool then the Reds would really end above them.

And having thrashed the Red Devils’ 7-0 at Anfield again in March, that win could be about to show decisive.

Should two sides end stage on factors within the Premier League, league place is set by purpose distinction. If nonetheless the identical, it then comes down to targets scored.

If the golf equipment nonetheless can’t be separated, the workforce with the fewest factors in head-to-head matches. And if the file remains to be the identical, the membership scoring the upper variety of targets because the away workforce in head-to-head matches would end increased.

Liverpool at present higher United throughout the board on such counts. Their purpose distinction stands at +25 in contrast to +8, whereas they’ve scored 67 targets in contrast to the Red Devils’ 49. And whereas each golf equipment claimed house victories over the opposite this season, the Reds’ away purpose of their 2-1 loss at Old Trafford once more offers them the benefit.

As a end result, that memorable 7-0 win at Anfield has given Liverpool a 14-goal turnaround on their bitter rivals to hand them a considerably more healthy return within the course of, and provides them the sting in such circumstances if the 2 sides did end stage on factors. Meanwhile, if United are to slip up additional and Klopp’s aspect are to take benefit, that purpose-distinction hole will solely get wider too.

So, Erik ten Hag want 9 factors from their closing 4 video games of the season to assure they end above Liverpool. Klopp thinks they’ll do it, but what does their run-in seem like?

United are again in motion next Saturday as they host Wolves, earlier than travelling to AFC Bournemouth the next weekend. They then end the marketing campaign with back-to-back house video games in opposition to Chelsea and Fulham.

In fact, such a run-in is beneficial. Wolves and Bournemouth are on the verge of security and are unlikely to get dragged again into the Premier League relegation battle at this stage. Meanwhile, Chelsea don’t have anything to play for in mid-desk, whereas Fulham’s slim European hopes have just about been ended, and will likely be extinguished earlier than the ultimate day of the season.

United’s away type is poor, in fact, with such points pre-relationship these back-to-back losses with Brighton and West Ham which have introduced Liverpool again into prime 4 competition.

They would throw away a 2-0 lead away at Tottenham Hotspur of their earlier away outing as they have been held to a 2-2 draw, having crashed out of the Europa League the week earlier than after dropping 3-0 away at Sevilla. Meanwhile, whereas they might win 2-0 away at Nottingham Forest on April 16, and 1-0 away at Real Betis on March 16, a 2-0 loss away at Newcastle and that 7-0 thrashing at Anfield sit both aspect of that Europa League journey to Spain.

In mid-February, they have been held to a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou after conceding a second half lead in opposition to Barcelona late on. And whereas they’d gained 2-0 away at Leeds United the earlier weekend, in addition to 3-0 away at Nottingham Forest within the League Cup in late-January, they conceded a final-minute winner away at Arsenal and final-minute equaliser away at Crystal Palace the week earlier than taking up the Tricky Trees.

As a end result, in 2023 their away file stands at performed 13, gained 4, drawn three, misplaced six. Meanwhile, earlier than the World Cup, whereas their away file made for higher studying, they nonetheless misplaced 4-0 away at Brighton, 6-3 away at Man City and 3-1 away at Aston Villa.

Yet even when AFC Bournemouth are ready to guarantee such distress continues on the Vitality Stadium, having infamously defeated Liverpool at house simply days after the Reds’ 7-0 thrashing of United, they’ll nonetheless be assured of victory of their three victories at Old Trafford to declare the 9 factors they want.

So what about Newcastle? Their run-in is harder than United’s although they’re nonetheless a aspect in-type regardless of their loss to Arsenal, having gained eight of their final ten matches.

They want seven factors from 4 matches to assure they end above Liverpool, although boast a superior purpose-distinction (+32 to +25) if the 2 sides have been to end stage on factors. Yet the Reds have scored extra (67 targets) than the Magpies’ 61 targets.

As a end result, if Newcastle slip-ups are to be forthcoming and Klopp’s males preserve profitable, such a distinction could rapidly be eradicated and Liverpool the benefit. Meanwhile, the Reds clinched a league-double over the Magpies, guaranteeing they might end forward on head-to-head if stage on factors and purpose distinction.

Newcastle are next in motion away at relegation-threatened Leeds United next Saturday as Sam Allardyce appears to steer them to security with solely purpose distinction holding them out of the relegation zone as issues stand. How the previous Magpies supervisor, sacked after simply half a season in January 2008, would love to deal a blow to his previous aspect’s Champions League hopes, whereas additionally pushing Everton, one other transient ex, nearer to the Championship.

Eddie Howe’s aspect then host European-chasing Brighton, who’re nonetheless in Champions League competition themselves if sides drop factors, and relegation-threatened Leicester City, earlier than ending the season away at Chelsea. As a end result, with stakes so excessive at each ends of the desk, the factors they want are hardly assured.

Of course, if Brighton have been to do Liverpool a favour and win at St. James’ Park, there stays the chance that they leapfrog the Reds and truly steal that doable prime 4 end for themselves. Yet additionally they nonetheless have clashes with title-chasing Arsenal and Man City to cope with, together with matches with relegation-threatened Everton and Southampton, and European-chasing Aston Villa.

For the file, it’s nonetheless doable that Roberto De Zerbi’s aspect end stage on factors, purpose distinction, and targets scored with Liverpool. Currently seven factors behind the Reds with three video games in hand, two wins and a draw will take them stage. Meanwhile, their purpose distinction stands at +22 in contrast to +25, whereas they’ve scored 62 targets in contrast to 67.

A 2-0 win, a 2-1 win, and a 1-1 draw from these three excellent video games will go away each golf equipment stage throughout the board. Yet, having picked up 4 factors in opposition to Liverpool this season, Brighton’s superior head-to-head file ensures they might end above the Reds in such circumstances.

As a end result, as Klopp warned final week, a prime 4 end for Liverpool remains to be unlikely. “Other teams are in much better positions,” in any case.

If Manchester United, Newcastle United, and Brighton & Hove Albion preserve profitable, then the Reds “have no chance”. For now, all they’ve is hope, ready for slip-ups that may not come as they observe from afar.

‘So you’re telling me there’s an opportunity’ because the Jim Carrey ‘Dumb and Dumber’ meme goes. Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher would even tweet such a GIF following Newcastle and Manchester United’s defeats on Sunday.

Yes, there’s a likelihood. Just as Kopites have been coming to phrases with a season within the Europa League, the door to the highest 4 has been left ajar. Still out of Reds fingers, Liverpool want to preserve profitable and cross their fingers for additional slip-ups from their rivals.

But, because the previous saying goes, it’s the hope that kills you.


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