Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp says he expects the Reds to miss out on a top four finish this season amid their poor run of form.
Having won the league at a canter in 2019/20, it has been a very different story for Liverpool this term.
After 25 games, the champions sit a massive 19 points behind leaders Manchester City. Unsurprisingly, Jurgen Klopp has already conceded that the title is out of their reach.
In fact, the aim for Liverpool now is to finish in the top four, although that is far from guaranteed.
The Anfield club are currently sixth in the league, five points behind fourth-placed West Ham. But should Everton and Aston Villa win their games in hand, they could fall down to eighth.
What’s more, they are currently on a losing run of four games and are looking devoid of answers for how to rediscover their form.
And while Redknapp believes things will improve in time, he isn’t expecting his old side to qualify for the Champions League.
Speaking to Sky Sports (via the Liverpool Echo) he said: “It will come, of course it will come. But right now everything Liverpool do feels difficult.
“When you’re in a team struggling for form, even the basics, simple passes, crosses, normally they’d find a man but they’re not quite happening for them now. They have to get their confidence back.
“They might not finish top four, it wouldn’t be a surprise. It’s actually more of a surprise if they did finish top four in the form they’re in.
“But they’ll have to look at this as an exercise. It’s not gone well for them but how can they do in the Champions League? Can they win the Champions League and upset the odds and do something incredibly special on that front?”
“One thing you can’t deny is the levels have dropped.”
Liverpool will be hoping to claim their first Premier League win since 31st January when they face Sheffield United on Sunday evening.
Ahead of the fixture, they’ve been boosted by the “really promising” return to training by one of their long-term absentees.
Klopp had it easy
Redknapp also claimed that Klopp had ‘easy job’ in guiding the Reds to glory last year.
Liverpool comfortably claimed their first title in 30 years, picking up 99 points and losing just three games. And Redknapp says a perfect blend of quality, morale and support helped them achieve that, leaving Klopp with little to do.
“Jurgen Klopp had an easy job last season to a certain extent because all he had to do was keep them going out onto the pitch,” he added.
“The confidence was high and the fans were in the stadium. Everything they did, people believed it.”
Clearly, things haven’t gone to plan for Liverpool this time around, but Redknapp has backed Klopp and his squad to get back to their best in 2021/22.
“But right now he’s up against it,” he continued. “It’s his first challenge at Liverpool. He’ll come through it but it won’t be now.
“It will be, I think, next season, once things start to get back to normality. Next season will be a complete change.
“You’re going to get back to normality, not just on the playing staff, as you start to get your key players back, but with the crowd in the stadium.”