Former Arsenal star Paul Merson believes Liverpool will pip Chelsea to join Manchester City, Manchester United and Leicester City in the top four of this season’s Premier League.
The pundit believes it could be close between Liverpool and Chelsea, but believes the Blues’ lack of goals up front could end up costing them over the course of the campaign.
The Reds have not been at their best recently, but Merson still expects them to have enough to just scrape into the Champions League places come May.
For the rest of the top four, Merson is making the rather safe bet that the current top three of City, Man Utd and Leicester will all be in there.
However, he expects West Ham, who are currently fourth, won’t be able to maintain their strong position, while he also seems to be ruling out a challenge from Everton, who are not far behind and who just earned a hugely impressive and morale-boosting 2-0 win away to Liverpool.
Merson told Sky Sports: “Man City are in, obviously – that’s the easy part!
“Next, I have to stick with Manchester United and Leicester, who are a very good team. The top three now will stay there, in my opinion.
“After that, this is so difficult. You know me, I don’t like to sit on the fence, but I’m finding it really hard to pick a team for the final spot.
“Despite their superb season so far, I don’t see West Ham lasting the distance, and that means a spot is up for grabs.
“Moyes’ side have been brilliant, but I saw enough in that second half against Spurs to tell me it’s just too much for them to do in the reminder of the season.
“Everton have got the fixture list to make a challenge, but I do worry about their consistency. For me, it’s between Chelsea and Liverpool for that final spot.
‘If Chelsea have a good March, that’s it, they are in. But, I worry about Chelsea scoring enough goals. I can’t see them blowing teams away.
“I’ve always said Liverpool will make it but when push comes to shove, it so hard to stick with them, at the moment. It’s hard to get away from their form and the fact the luck is not with them.
“You look at the games they’ve lost, and you look at the games they have coming up and wonder if they can turn it around. They should beat Sheffield United but there is doubt there, especially with no defenders.
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“I’ve shown so much faith in them, but the players keep dropping like flies. The one player I want on the pitch out of all of their players at the moment is Jordan Henderson.
“When things are not going well, he’s the leader. He’s the player that gets people going. With him now being out of the team it’s a bit of a worry.
“It feels like I’m just going with the name and not looking at the performances and results. The teams they haven’t beaten is very worrying.
“I don’t know why, but I have to stick with Liverpool. Please don’t ask me why but I’m keeping the faith with Jurgen Klopp and his side.”