Liverpool’s top four hopes may have been dealt a blow today with news that Adam Lallana could miss a month due to a thigh injury suffered while on England duty, but for now at least the Reds remain fourth in the table, four points ahead of Manchester United though with their rivals having two games in hand.
No matter the personnel issues, it was always shaping up to be a tough fight to make it back into the Champions League next season. Liverpool cult hero Luis Garcia, though, is confident that they will do just that no matter any issues, injury or otherwise, that come up between now and the end of the Premier League season.
“It was the target at the beginning of the season and it’s the one they have to continue working for,” Garcia told Sky today when asked about how he sees the league playing out. “I think the team is ready for it. It’s true they had a down period during the first part of 2017, but I’m sure of the reaction they’re going to have.”
March provided something of a sign of that reaction, with a victory over Arsenal followed up by a win against Burnley, the first time in the new year that Liverpool had beaten both the tough opponent and then a weaker one. They followed it up with a hard-fought draw with fellow top four battlers Manchester City.
Now, if they can keep the results coming, a top four position should be on the cards, even if United’s games in hand mean it isn’t certain, and beyond just this season and despite their early 2017 hiccup, Garcia is feeling bullish about Liverpool’s long-term prospects under Jürgen Klopp.
“They have the perfect manager to do it,” he added. “We know what he is capable of doing with this team and they’ve shown it before during the first part of the league. I don’t have a doubt that if they continue working the same way they will be in the top four at the end of the season.”