Paul Merson has said that it would be “unthinkable” if Premier League champions Liverpool were to miss out on a top-four place this campaign.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were 36 points better off at this stage last season and following six defeats from 10 matches this term, the Reds are currently 19 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
Ahead of Thursday night’s clash which will see Chelsea head to Anfield, Merson has hailed the fixture as a “big game” for both clubs, but feels that more pressure is on Liverpool to claim the three points.
“Liverpool and Chelsea and teams like that will be spending money on the strength of expecting that money to be coming in next season, Champions League money. That’s why it’s a big game – I don’t think either team can afford to lose it,” Merson told Sky Sports News.
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“I can’t explain how big it would be if Liverpool ended up not getting in the top four, it’s massive. Massive. Liverpool can’t not be in the Champions League.
“This Liverpool team of the last two years have been, bar the last three months, unbelievable. To be out of the top four would be unthinkable. Unthinkable. How are you going to get players to Liverpool now if they’re not going to be in the Champions League? They need to get in the top four, 100 percent.”
Victory for Liverpool would see them climb above both Chelsea and West Ham United into the top four, although the Hammers will have a game in hand, while a win for Thomas Tuchel’s side would see them move four points clear of the Reds.
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