The Reds lost 1-0 to relegation strugglers Hull City on Tuesday evening, leaving them just one point away from falling out of the Europa League places.
It certainly seems as if Brendan Rodgers’ job relies on him securing European football next term, and even the Europa League would be acceptable despite the need for Champions League football at Anfield.
However, it looks as if Rodgers is doing all he can to guarantee Liverpool do not quality for Europe, and there is actually good reason for that.
We take a look at three reasons for why missing out on Europe could be perfect for the Merseyside club.
A better chance of winning the Premier League
Last season, Liverpool came so close to winning the Premier League, and a lot of this was put down to the fact that they played fewer games than their title rivals. They could keep their intense pressing game up without fear of fatigue, and it worked sell well for the campaign. They have suffered this season with Champions, then Europa League, and maybe Rodgers is looking to miss out on Europe to guarantee a title challenge next season.
More time for Raheem Sterling to rest
Sterling came under a lot of criticism earlier this season when he asked to not be named in Roy Hodgson’s England team for a tie with Estonia. He remained on the bench due to fatigue, and maybe missing out on the Europa League is for his benefit. Liverpool are not willing to pay his wage demands to give him a new contract, so maybe offering him less games is the way to guarantee he signs the deal. He has to get correct amount of sleep after all.
Less games for Mario Balotelli
Balotelli’s season has been a joy to behold, as he has mis-hit strike after strike on the way to a mid-table finish. He has missed games due to his lack of form, but Rodgers has had to name him in certain games as cover for his other forwards. With so many games played Balotelli has warranted his inclusion, but maybe Rodgers believes he will get away with not choosing the Italian forward if he has fewer games in which to name him.