Ex-Liverpool striker John Aldridge on top four chances, and how Reds avoid 'disaster'

John Aldridge thinks Liverpool's chances of qualifying for the Champions League are over after defeat to Arsenal, and says FA Cup defeat to Blackburn would spell 'disaster'.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has said the side's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League are now gone after the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal at the weekend.

The Reds are now seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with as many games remaining - but the Reds do have an a FA Cup replay against Blackburn Rovers, which gives them an opportunity of making it to Wembley, and setting up a semi-final against Aston Villa.

He wrote in his Liverpool Echo column: "I don’t think it’s too dramatic to say that defeat at Blackburn on Wednesday would represent a disaster for Liverpool.

"It’s all on the FA Cup now. The top four is gone, I’m afraid. Forget about that. The cup, though, is there for us.

"It’s a tricky little trip, going up to Blackburn. They’ll have seen our last two games and will think they might be able to take us. We have to stand up big and strong for this one, and show what we’re made of."

In terms of Liverpool's predicament in the Premier League, it is still mathematically possible for them to finish in the top four places, and all of the sides ahead of them face difficult encounters - one only needs to look at next weekend when Manchester United face Manchester City and that will be a weekend when the Reds have to take care of business against Newcastle United with an opportunity to close the gap to some extent.

But first, it's the urgent need for Liverpool to bounce back against an injury hit Blackburn side and keep their hopes of winning their first trophy under Brendan Rodgers alive in the FA Cup.

Provided there are no upsets they could get their revenge on Arsenal in the final at the end of May, but Liverpool are going to be made to work for their shot at their eighth triumph in the competition.

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