Last season the Reds came the closest they have ever been to Premier League glory, but fell at the final hurdle and Manchester City ran out title winners instead.
The loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona in the summer has blunted the spearhead of Liverpool's attack, and has severely damaged the club's chances of challenging for both the title, and top four this season.
Steve McMahon, who made 204 appearances for Liverpool between 1985-91, believes one of either Chelsea and City will be crowned champions this season, but insists a Champions League finish is imperative.
He told talkSPORT: “I don’t expect them to get close to winning the league this season, not by a long chalk. Chelsea and Manchester City are way above any of the teams in the league, but a top four finish would be a success.
“Coming second [last season] was obviously magnificent but, for me, a successful season for Liverpool will be to qualify for the Champions League again. They have to do that. We don’t want it to be a one season wonder.
“Champions League football is a must.
“They have done a lot of hard work to get themselves back into the Champions League and it’s important to stay there. And at the moment they’re struggling."
Going by McMahon's predictions it will have to be one of Arsenal or Manchester United that miss out on the top four in order for Liverpool to get in it again. Over the years the Gunners have always managed to scrape a top four finish in the league, and with the new faces Wenger has recruited this season, you would expect them to be up there again come May.
United spent upwards of £150 million on a number of the world's best players over the summer, and it's well-known that getting back into Europe is their main goal this season. Liverpool's start to the new campaign has been poor by their standards, winning only three of their opening seven games this season is not the form of a top four side.
The defensive frailties that cost them the title last season don't seem to have been repaired, and the offensive replacements that are trying to fill the void of Suarez have struggled to make their mark at this stage. In order for them to have any chance both must be improved upon very soon.