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It took the inspiration of Roberto Firmino for Liverpool to secure all three points in an end-to-end encounter at the Hawthorns on Sunday.
The victory over West Bromwich Albion took the Reds to third on the Premier League log with 66 points, nine behind leaders Chelsea.
The deceptive nature of the Premier League table however doesn’t underline the fact that Liverpool are the wariest as the chase for a Champions League finish intensifies.
Played more games
Due to their premature elimination from cup competitions, Jurgen Klopp’s side only have the Premier League to play for and as such have already completed 33 games in the top flight.
Fourth placed Manchester City have a game in hand which if won, could drop Liverpool to the final Champions League spot.
Manchester United on the other hand have two games in hand due to their Europa League commitments, games in which wins of five goals and over will propel Jose Mourinho’s charges to fourth.
Mane injury costly
Sadio Mane suffered a nasty knee injury during Liverpool’s 3-1 victory in the Merseyside derby at the start of April: one that has unfortunately ruled him out for the rest of the season, but at what cost?
The 25-year old has been the standout performer at Anfield this season, leading the goalscoring charts with 13 goals in the Premier League.
His absence was slightly felt against the Baggies, but no doubt the Senegalese will be sorely missed as Liverpool prepare to welcome Crystal Palace, Watford and Southampton in three of their last five Premier League encounters of the season.
Will crumble under pressure
It would be unthinkable if any of the two Manchester clubs don’t make it to the Champions League, but not equally so if Liverpool fail to achieve the same fate.
Pep Guardiola has done enough to warrant a place among Europe’s elite while Jose Mourinho has the surety and security of the Europa League.
The Reds may yet find themselves crumbling under the weight of expectation should both Manchester sides keep up their decent run of form.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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