By Matthew Glazier: After three successive wins, Liverpool appear to have turned a corner under Brendan Rodgers. Here are five reasons why they have enough for a top four finish this season.
Liverpool have won three games in a row. This is the first time they have achieved this feat since September 2011. All of a sudden, there is a winning feeling creeping into the squad and a feel-good factor which you cannot underestimate the importance of.
Down, but not out
Trailing 2-1 to West Ham on Saturday, Liverpool had it all to do to get a positive result. They had thrown away a 1-0 lead and could easily have crumbled at Upton Park. Instead, they fought back with two goals in quick succession and secure the points.
Turning potential defeats into victories, especially away from home, is the sign of a team that can achieve great things. They were down – but not out.
Options from the bench
One of the key factors to the win at West Ham was the introduction of forgotten man Joe Cole. He came on in the first-half and eventually scored the equaliser for his team. This is what Liverpool need – impact players that can change a game.
In this league, you need a squad with plenty of strength in depth. Perhaps the West Ham game highlighted the importance of this and Rodgers will spend in January.
The return of Lucas Leiva
Lucas Leiva is incredibly important for this Liverpool team and it is no coincidence that since his return, they have won two Premier League games in succession. Not only does he add class to their midfield, but his presence adds self-belief to both the players and the fans.
If he stays injury-free, you will see Liverpool create more and more as the season goes on.
Not all about Suarez
The main criticism of Liverpool this season has been their over-reliance on Luis Suarez. If he fails to fire, so do Liverpool – that was the belief anyway.
However, in the last four league games, he hasn’t found the net once and Liverpool have still picked up seven points. Suarez didn’t even feature in the win at West Ham.
Jordan Henderson scoring the crucial winner at Udinese in the Europa League should be as big a sign as any, that Liverpool are not a one-man team. The players that have been so heavily criticised, can step up on the big occasion and help this team move forward.
Then, when you throw in the goals of Suarez – which are bound to come in a burst soon – it could be a productive few weeks for Rodgers’ men with games against Aston Villa, Fulham, Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers to come before the New Year.
For what it’s worth, Liverpool are 5/1 with Ladbrokes to sneak into the top four and if the last three games are anything to go by, they have started to make their surge.
Matthew Glazier writes for Footballtips.com, an award-winning football, news and betting website.
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