How realistic is 4th place?
With Liverpool regaining form and having steadily moved up to 6th in the table the question now becomes how realistic is 4th place and that coveted Champions League spot. It's a question that would have seemed ridiculous to ask before Kenny Dalglish took the helm.
So who are the teams we are competing with? Right now it's the two London clubs, Chelsea (45 points, 26 games) and Spurs (47 points, 27 games). Liverpool are sitting on 39 points from 27 games, 6 points behind Chelsea, who have a game in-hand, and 8 points adrift of Spurs having played the same number of games. So what do the remaining fixtures for Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs look like?
Having done a quick "Mark Lawrenson" on each clubs remaining fixtures (CLICK HERE to see each clubs final fixtures of the season) the task ahead does look a bit daunting. However, on their current form Chelsea could drop quite a few points during their run in with difficult home and away games against Man Utd, a tough home game with Man City and, lo and behold, a final game of the season away to Everton. I wonder how many of us will be willing The Bitters to win that one come May 22? If you look at their last 12 league matches Chelsea have drawn 5, lost 3 and won 4 for a total of 17 points. If they repeat that kind of form then they can be overtaken but the Reds will need to be looking for maximum points from as many games as possible during their last 11 games. We have a critical home game against Man Utd. coming up after West Ham a tough away game at Arsenal, a critical home game against Spurs and our last game of the season against Gerard Houllier's lot.
Spurs last 11 league games has seen them pick up 21 points (3 draws, 2 losses and 6 wins) but they too have difficult away games at Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool. However, last weeks away loss to Blackpool cannot have helped their confidence so we can look to see them dropping points over the next few months.
It's going to be tight and, as Kenny always says, it's one game at a time and at the end of the season we'll see where we sit. Let's hope were sitting above 16 other teams.