The odds on Premier League champions Liverpool securing a top four finish this season have drifted out to 4/6 after they lost 2-0 to Everton on Saturday. It was the club’s fourth consecutive defeat and it left them in sixth place. The Reds could drop down to ninth if the teams below them – Everton, Aston Villa and Tottenham – win their games in hand.
Liverpool now have just 11 wins, seven draws and seven defeats from 25 games. They put in another limp performance against Everton yesterday, allowing the Toffees to secure their first win at Anfield since 1999.
A makeshift defensive pairing of Jordan Henderson and Ozan Kabak could not deal with the pace and movement of Everton forward Richarlison, who fired in the opener after just three minutes. A late penalty from Gilfi Sigurdsson wrapped up a landmark win for Everton against their former rivals.
Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti called it “a good gift for our supporters”. Meanwhile, Liverpool fans are left to scratch their heads when considering how quickly their team has fallen from grace.
Liverpool finished 18 points clear of Man City to end their 30-year title drought last season. They are now 16 points below Pep Guardiola’s men, who could extend that lead to 19 points if they beat Arsenal this afternoon.
They have lost to Brighton, Man City, Leicester and Everton in their last four games, conceding 10 goals and scoring just twice in the process. A 2-0 away win at RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday sparked some optimism among fans, but that was swiftly quashed at Anfield yesterday.
Injuries have clearly derailed Liverpool’s title defence, with Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all long-term casualties. That has forced manager Jurgen Klopp to regularly play Fabinho – who is now injured too – or Henderson in central defence, leaving the Reds light in midfield too.
Yet Klopp will be alarmed to see the goals dry up for his fabled frontline. Mohamed Salah is still prolific, but Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino appear to have regressed, along with several other Liverpool players. Diogo Jota kept them going for a while, but he too is injured.
The big question for gamblers now is: can you trust Liverpool to turn things around and finish in the top four? As things stand, they are just three points behind fourth placed Chelsea, having played the same number of games. They are six points behind Man Utd and Leicester, who each have a game in hand. Everton, Aston Villa and Tottenham can leapfrog them by winning their games in hand, but that is a big if, as those teams have been inconsistent during a chaotic Premier League season.
If you can trust Liverpool to turn things around, 4/6 is actually a pretty large price on a team of their quality. Bet365, 888 Sport, Paddy Power, Betfair, Unibet and several others are offering those odds and one bookmaker, SBK, is offering 10/13. You would have to lump on to make it worthwhile, but it is a compelling opportunity.
Liverpool’s form has been woeful in recent weeks, but they showed flashes of their brilliance against a strong RB Leipzig team. Their next four games are against Sheff Utd, Chelsea, Fulham and Wolves. If they can go on a strong run, they could even finish second this season.
Man City are 1/1000 to finish in the top four, while Man Utd are best priced at 1/4 with William Hill. Leicester are 1/2, and that looks unappealing after their late season meltdown last term. You can then find 4/6 on Liverpool or 5/6 on Chelsea. The Blues have improved significantly since Thomas Tuchel took the reins, and that also looks like an attractive price, as they have enough quality to overhaul Leicester.
The longer shots are Tottenham at 5/1 with Unibet, West Ham at 8/1 with William Hill, Everton at 10/1 with Bet365 and Aston Villa at 14/1 with Betway. If you really want to go wild, you can find 20/1 on Arsenal, who are just seven points behind Chelsea, with a game in hand. The race for a top four place looks extremely tight, as the table is very congested, but there is plenty of value on Liverpool and Chelsea.