Things are feeling a bit dicey for Liverpool right now. After an unwanted loss against Crystal Palace last weekend, the top four race has felt less sure. It became more about hoping teams around Liverpool on the table would mess up and drop points, and less about making sure that Liverpool could win games. More out of control.
Thankfully that changed this weekend as both Manchester teams, and 4th and 5th places respectively, dropped points over the weekend. Manchester City and United both drew their matches on Sunday, after drawing against each other on Thursday. City now sit tied with Liverpool in points, while United are one point behind.
With the top four race getting closer and closer every matchday, places are becoming more and more solid as matches are won or lost (or drawn). Arsenal lost valuable points today as well, as Spurs took all three points from them, widening the Gunner’s gap between them and any sort of top four spot. As the other contenders fight their own nearly-relegated adversaries, Liverpool have been now gifted a slight advantage - where the others have stumbled, we may be able to steam ahead.
That of course means taking every advantage tomorrow against Watford, as every eye turns to that. The only match worth focusing on in this moment, according to manager Jürgen Klopp. Liverpool’s schedule can be deceptively easy, as they end the season with matchups against Southampton, West Ham, and Middlesbrough, and if they are looking to add some breathing room to their spot on the table, obviously the first thing to do will be to take home three points from Watford.
The other teams’ stumbles now give Liverpool more control, where it felt thin and hard to grasp. The race is in the home stretch after all, and every advantage should be taken as such. And with the hope that both Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge could at least return to the bench tomorrow, hopes are slightly higher than they were going into the weekend. Not to mention both United and City have considerably more difficult opponents coming up, with the former meeting Arsenal, Spurs, and Southampton as well. City are due to compete against Crystal Palace, Leicester, West Brom, and Watford, which may or may not be the deciding factor for them and could even well prove more detrimental to Liverpool.
Truly, though, the only thing Liverpool can do at this point is focus on winning games. No amount of slip ups from other teams are going to support them if they don’t, and the race is too tight and too narrow to risk anything but three points.