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Food For Thought: Can Liverpool Challenge for Top Four This Season?

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Not too long ago, Liverpool were part of the four clubs that regularly qualified for the Champions League but it seems a distant dream for the club now, as the times have changed quite dramatically in the last six years, as Liverpool have consistently finished outside the top four. There has been only one campaign since 2009 in which Liverpool have featured in the group stages of the Champions League.

Even though there are aspirations of the title in Jurgen Klopp’s first full season at the club, finishing in the top four will be the primary objective. Reaching this objective could potentially take Liverpool to the next level, as the club recently unveiled a new main stand that extended the seating capacity to beyond 50,000. This along with the other stadium development works mean that Liverpool could be boasting a capacity of around 60,000 sooner rather than later. This is the kind of capacity that screams the Champions League standards.

The new TV deal for the Champions League clubs and the Premier League TV deal would all mean a meteoric rise in the finances. Only then, the club can properly think of a title challenge. For the time being, finishing in the top four will help them build a base for the future.

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Jurgen Klopp has all the tactical nous required to get consistent results throughout the campaign. He has acted quite fast in the transfer market by bringing in Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum much earlier than their rivals. It has allowed them to settle and they have been quite influential in the opening five games of the campaign.

Perhaps, the biggest advantage of them all will be the lack of European football. Liverpool are not only involved in the Champions League but in the Europa League as well. This may seem like a negative aspect at first, but the sheer number of games a club has to go through before winning the title and eventually making it to the group stages of the Champions League do make it extremely tough. The Europa League is akin to a marathon and it is only after running more than half the distance that you hit the WALL.

The lack of Europa League means that Jurgen Klopp can play his best 11 in all the league matches. Players will feel rejuvenated and he can expect more work rate out of them. The current season is primed to witness Liverpool get back into European football.