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Suarez Wants League Glory but Only Arsenal, Chelsea, and City Have a Chance

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Liverpool striker Luis Suarez imagines a win on Saturday could put the Reds back in the running for league glory, but the truth is there are only three teams left in the Premier League race.

Laurence Griffiths

With a win on Saturday that would narrow the gap between them and the league leaders to five points, Liverpool fans might just start to talk about a revived title challenge. Ahead of the match, the possibility is one even Luis Suarez, currently the world's on form player, is hinting at—the chance, with a win, to get Liverpool back in the running for the league title. It's a nice dream, though not an especially realistic one.

"Arsenal are the leaders in the table and victory would be good for morale, give the whole squad an enormous injection and reduce the points difference at the top," said the striker. "We didn't have success at the Emirates, so our objective now is to win and I believe we have that chance. It's rare that everything could be decided on the last day, but we must keep going and to ensure that happens we need results against the other main candidates."

The harsh truth, though, is that even if Liverpool were to defeat Arsenal on Saturday, the current league leaders would be on pace for an 84 point season. Manchester City and Chelsea are both on similar trajectories, and if even just one of the three maintain their season-long form it means this season's champion will end up with at least 84 points. To reach that mark, Liverpool would need eleven wins and a draw in their final thirteen games—and that's assuming a win on Saturday.

It's much the same as the math that says Manchester United are no longer contenders for the top four and, outside of winning the Champions League, will find themselves out of Europe's premier club competition next season. In both cases, not only is a near perfect end to the season required just to get back into the conversation, but all three sides ahead of them—either between Liverpool and first or United and fourth—would need to stumble.

One of Arsenal, Chelsea, or Manchester City might indeed end the year badly and give a surging Liverpool the opportunity to nab third and automatic Champions League qualification. Anything more than that is beyond Liverpool's reach, and though it's hard to fault Suarez for his hope, Brendan Rodgers' far more modest goal of holding onto Champions League qualification is the realistic objective.