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Merson warns Klopp over "unthinkable" Liverpool scenario ahead of Chelsea clash


Paul Merson has claimed it would be “unthinkable” if Liverpool miss out on a spot in the Premier League’s top four this season.

The reigning champions’ dramatic fall from grace means that Champions League qualification is already the realistic extent of their ambitions, though they are currently two points off the pace.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds romped to the title last season but, following six defeats from 10 games, are languishing a staggering 19 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

After seeing off beleaguered Sheffield United on Sunday, the Reds will be given a sterner test of their credentials at home to fellow top-four hopefuls Chelsea on Thursday evening.



Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has seen his team struggle this season
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has seen his team struggle this season

Thomas Tuchel remains unbeaten as Blues boss ahead of the trip to Anfield but his side sit only a single point above their opponents on the back of successive draws and are still searching to strike the right balance in attack.

Arsenal legend Merson has hailed the clash as “very, very big” for both teams – but believes more pressure is on the Anfield giants.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: ” 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.



Paul Merson has claimed it would be "unthinkable" if Liverpool miss out on a top four spot
Paul Merson has claimed it would be “unthinkable” if Liverpool miss out on a top four spot

“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.

“People go over the years they might not have been in every year but 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. They would’ve budgeted everything, everything about it – season tickets, everything.



Klopp's Reds romped to the title last season
Klopp’s Reds romped to the title last season

“TV money from the Champions League, prize money for getting through the groups; it pays people’s wages. They’re not bottomless pits.

“They still have to look at their books. It won’t be ‘oh, don’t worry about it’. And they need to bring in players. We’ve seen that with a few injuries they’ve become a lot less of a team.

“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 per cent.”





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