The reason Liverpool are best suited to securing a top-four finish

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After a poor start to the season, Liverpool look the most likely club to secure a Premier League top-four finish.

Heading into December 2014, Liverpool were looking down the Premier League table rather than up it, and the memories of their incredible second placed finish just months previously had quickly evaporated.

Brendan Rodgers was being derided for his transfer business and incessant faith in a tactic that was clearly not working, and sitting in the lower half of the table did little to brighten spirits. Qualification for the Champions League was looking a far off dream, and, whilst they were only whispers, there were fears of a finish near the bottom of the table.

However, the situation has changed at Anfield, and things are looking much brighter on the red half of Merseyside. Rodgers altered his game approach and has since led the Reds up the Premier League table, into the latter stages of the FA Cup, and looking to progress in the Europa League. A switch to a 3-4-2-1 formation has allowed the host of summer signings to impress and has removed some of the previous deadwood from the first-team, and Liverpool are now the form team in the Premier League.

No team has as many wins as them - four - from their last five games, and they have not lost a Premier League fixture since December 14, when Manchester United defeated them 3-0 in a game that Liverpool really should have won. In recent weeks they have seen off Tottenham and Southampton in vital fixtures in the race for a top-four finish and, on current form, Liverpool are the team best suited to securing Champions League qualification.

The Reds currently sit in sixth place, one point behind the Saints, two behind Manchester United, and only three behind Arsenal in third place. They are one point ahead of Spurs in the position behind them, and with a five-point gap separating the North London club from West Ham, it appears as if the five clubs between third and seventh will be fighting for a top-four place.

And, on current form, Liverpool are the most likely team to claim a top-four finish - potentially even moving as high as third.

They have finally found an ability to fight through games to victory that previously they would have lost, and their attacking potency has been dialled back to aid the previously ailing defence, but without losing the clinical strike force associated with them; Liverpool scored two goals from just four shots on target against Southampton.

There is less of a focus on the aesthetics of the football now under Rodgers, a trait that he has previously implored his sides to adhere to. Realising that he could not continue to flounder with team selection and system lay-out, the Northern Irish coach changed himself for the good of the team, and a top-four finish looks like a realistic achievement for the first time this campaign. If only he had figured out his team’s strengths before the start of the campaign, Liverpool would arguably be challenging for the Premier League title right now - but that achievement must remain a pipe dream for the foreseeable future.

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