With any lingering disappointment from Sunday's FA Cup loss to Arsenal put behind them, Liverpool head into their match against Swansea on the weekend knowing anything less than three points will be seen as a disappointment. Though Manchester United are out of the race for fourth and Everton have begun to fall away, anything less than a win is likely to result in Tottenham, who face Norwich on Sunday, drawing level on points.
It's not just Tottenham that Liverpool will be worried about keeping pace with. There's also the small matter of the chance, however slight, at a league title if the club can keep winning. With two of the clubs ahead of Liverpool still having to travel to Anfield this season, the four point gap between them and leaders Chelsea might seem tantalisingly small. But the players, including Philippe Coutinho, know that any slip could see that chance disappear.
"We have to be fully concentrated and alert in all matches," said the Brazilian playmaker. "The matches against Arsenal and Everton must be our reference so we can keep it up in all matches and sustain the same level until the very end. We want to be back in the Champions League and to be in contention for the title. The league is very difficult as it has big clubs. There's massive competition in the league here, all matches are very difficult.
"We're in a fairly good position at the moment but there are 12 matches to be played. There's still much to happen and we're hoping to keep up on this path. It's very important that the team go on to the pitch expecting to win and trying to get three points. We're trying to have a good week at training and we expect to have a good match at the weekend with the support of the fans, who have been really impressive in recent matches at home."
At home, against a Swansea side who have sacked their manager and are preoccupied with a Europa League tie against Napoli, Liverpool should have the edge. If they continue to play as they have against Arsenal and Everton of late, they will. This is a Liverpool side playing as well as any in the past five years—now they just have to avoid allowing themselves to get complacent against what most will see as a lesser opponent.