Liverpool: How can Klopp turn things around?
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Steve Nicol has revealed his belief that Liverpool’s challenge for a Champions League place relies on their front three coming back into form. The Reds have struggled in the Premier League this season and currently sit behind West Ham and Chelsea in the top flight.
Though Jurgen Klopp’s men are the third highest scorers in the league, they have netted just two goals in their last four league games, with their last win coming in January.
Mohamed Salah is currently the leading goalscorer in the Premier League, having found the back of the net 17 times.
But his closest team-mate, Sadio Mane, has scored just seven times and is joint-20th in the Golden Boot race. His shot-to-goal conversion rate is also the lowest of anyone in the top 20, at 14 per cent.
The other member of Liverpool’s previously fearsome front three, Roberto Firmino, has similarly scored only six times in 22 appearances in the top flight this term.
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It is a marked change from last year, when they scored 46 Premier League goals between them.
And with a Champions League place becoming ever more challenging to claim, with both West Ham and Chelsea in form, Nicol believes Mane, Salah and Firmino must regain their form if Liverpool are to have any hope of beating their London rivals to a European place.
After it was revealed that the bookies still make Liverpool the favourites to claim a place in the top four, Reds legend Nicol stated his belief that everything rests on their front three.
“It’s not usually a smart move to go against the bookies because they’re normally right. But I’m trying to figure a way of how they’re going to be right,” he told ESPN FC.
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“They must think Liverpool’s front three are going to catch fire, because that’s the only way they’re going to qualify for the Champions League next year.
“Nobody can put their hand on their heart and say that’s going to happen, because right now the front three don’t look as if they could score against anybody.”
Also harming Liverpool’s hopes is the fact that while they have gone on a four-match losing run, their rivals for a Champions League spot are currently well in form.
Chelsea are on a six-match unbeaten run in the top-flight, while West Ham have not lost last four Premier League games, something Nicol believes will prove crucial come the end of the season.
“To have them so fancied to get into the top four doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said.
“The common denominator between two of the three teams you spoke about is that they’re picking up points.
“Liverpool aren’t not picking up points, regardless of how they’re playing. That’s the difference between these three teams that are going for this one spot.
“You can’t go for Liverpool because regardless of how they play, they’re not getting the points where the other two sides are.”
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