Liverpool: From Premier League pretenders to Europa League contenders?

After last Sunday’s 2-0 win over rivals Everton, Liverpool looked to be back on track, but they follow it up this weekend by drawing 0-0 with Blackburn. The Kop are now seventh in the league, 12 points behind table toppers Chelsea, and are only on course to challenge for 4th place this season, and not the title which the fans crave.

Rafa Benitez and his side are now out of the Champions League, and after Christmas they shall be entering the newest competition on the block, the Europa League, where they will be playing on Thursday nights.

This could be fatal for the Premier League form because it means only a two day rest before playing again on Saturday. Graham Souness said last weekend in his newspaper column ‘I’ve always said that Thursday night is the night you take your wife out for dinner, not a night to be playing a match in Europe’

Now, as a Manchester United fan I can assure you I am not revelling in Liverpool’s misfortune, but they certainly are doing things the hard way this term and are providing bloggers and journalists alike easy columns to write. I thoroughly believed at the start of August Liverpool had a chance to win the Premier League this season, and I even tipped them to do so, but now it looks like they will be lucky to finish in the Top Four.

Liverpool are 7/1 favourites to win the competition, and I think they should prioritise winning it because it looks like it will be their only shot at silverware this season. However, the squad that Liverpool currently has does not have the depth to compete in this and the Premier League.

With Fernando Torres injured Liverpool are toothless, they have no credible striker to step into his shoes. Alberto Aqualani looks to be a white elephant, because we have seen nothing out of him since his £21million move from Roma.

The Europa League could be the perfect opportunity for Liverpool to try out new formations and new players, because at the moment they have not got enough talent coming through the academy. I think their main priority for now should be finishing as high as they can in the Premier League, because they must qualify for the Champions League next season. Failure to do so will leave them even further in the red.

Benitez is the man to lead Liverpool through their current turmoil. I don’t think he will be sacked, I actually believe he will be at the club for the long run, unless he has a massive falling out with the players and the hierarchy at the club.

As for the Europa League, I would advise throwing ten quid on The Kop to win the competition, because they certainly have got a chance, and well the bookies are generally not far wrong. But, don’t blame me if they don’t win it.

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