'The balance has completely gone' - Liverpool 'have it all to do' to finish in Premier League top four, says Crouch

Curtis Jones Georginio Wijnaldum Liverpool Everton 2020-21
A former Anfield favourite thinks the Reds "have lost their way" amid an injury crisis which has left Jurgen Klopp without several key players

Liverpool "have it all to do" to finish in the Premier League's top four, according to Peter Crouch, who says "the balance has completely gone".

The reigning champions slipped 19 points behind current leaders Manchester City after suffering a fourth successive defeat at Anfield on Saturday - this time to arch-rivals Everton.

Liverpool were well below their best during the 2-0 defeat, and Crouch is now concerned that his old club may miss out on Champions League qualification amid a mounting injury crisis.

Article continues below

What was said?

Crouch told the Daily Mail: "They have been well off the pace recently but, to be honest, I’ve thought back to the start of the season and there were warning signs then.

"I just feel there has been a big drop and the balance of the team has completely gone. No Virgil van Dijk has led to no Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in midfield; those two players provide so much and without them orchestrating things, Liverpool have lost their way.

"This is not something I ever expected to write up but they really do have it all to do if they want to finish in the top four. I don’t want to look at the derby, though, without giving Everton due credit because they played really well."

Can Liverpool still make the top four?

The Premier League title is certainly out of reach for the Reds with only 13 matches left to play, but they could still salvage a spot in Europe's elite competition if they can rediscover a consistent streak.

West Ham are currently five points above Liverpool in fourth, while Chelsea are sitting three ahead of them in fifth and Everton are on the same number of points having played a game less than their local rivals.

Should Jurgen Klopp's side ultimately fall short in their bid to secure a fourth-place finish, they will have to win the Champions League in order to qualify for the competition again in 2021-22.

What's next?

Liverpool will now prepare for a meeting with the Premier League's bottom club Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

The Merseyside outfit are due to play host to fellow top-four hopefuls Chelsea four days later, before taking on Fulham at Anfield on March 7.

Further reading