Can Liverpool Finish 2nd in the Premier League?
2014/15 has hardly been a season of consistency for Brendan Rodgers or his current Liverpool side. The Reds simply begun their latest Premier League campaign in complete opposite style to how they went about their business last term.
Without a certain Luis Suarez on board, the rest of the team seemed surprisingly slow and lethargic, with a number of newly acquired faces simply failing to do the business at their new club.
Best odds for Liverpool to finish in the top 2 – 16/1 at Ladbrokes.
Since the turn of the year however – with Daniel Sturridge approaching full fitness once more – Liverpool have nonetheless managed to restore some faith in themselves and what the club can go onto achieve. The likes of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho have once again proved a dangerous attacking outlet, with Rodgers’ leaky defence seemingly managing to patch up some of its more obvious holes of late.
In light of such a turnaround in fortunes, are the Reds finally back to their very best now, or do Liverpool still have a long way to go in recovering their truly top form?
Whatever your opinion on the team’s ability at the beginning of the campaign, it must be conceded now that last season’s Premier League runners-up are starting to produce some really top performances. They have done well to beat the likes of Manchester City, Southampton and Tottenham fairly convincingly in the last couple of weeks – and despite the fact that Brendan Rodgers hasn’t quite been operating with a fully fit squad – the Reds have nevertheless proved an efficient outfit in the second half of the season.
The all-important qualification for the Champions League is seemingly just under the nose of the Anfield based club at the minute, which with all things considered, would perhaps signal a reasonably successful league campaign when their opening form is taken into account.
Having sung the praises of the Red’s most recent offerings however, bettering their form of 2014 is hardly an achievement worth talking about. Liverpool were quite frankly a shadow of their former selves before the turn of the year, and whilst they seemed to have turned the corner for now, some sly suspicions still ultimately surround the fate of Brendan Rodgers’ determined outfit.
The likes of Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert will seemingly never fit in with the style of play trying to be emulated at Anfield, several of Rodgers’ other key men have simply failed to hit their peak as of yet, and as for Liverpool’s somewhat improved defence of late, players such as Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren really haven’t shown a great deal of meaningful promise in relation to their hefty price tags.
Liverpool’s failure to perform in either the Champions League or Europa League nonetheless proves to be the most defining aspect of this whole debate however. The Reds’ can celebrate their league form as much as they like – but considering how poor they were when placed upon the most illustrious stage in club football – Brendan Rodgers and co. ultimately failed to shine Liverpool Football Club in the most glorious of lights. The club are simply capable of much more in the Champions League, and it still goes down as a somewhat surprise as to how badly the team performed when given the opportunity to do the business in Europe earlier this season.
For that reason alone, whilst the Reds have certainly improved on their league form in recent weeks, their overall output this season has been a far cry from what the Anfield faithful know their club is truly capable of.
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