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13th May 2021

The Anfield Wrap presenter Neil Atkinson believes Liverpool can still make the top four

Lee Costello

“I think if Liverpool win all four games from this position and don’t get it, then they can feel like they have had a little bit of hard luck.”

You would be hard pressed to find anyone who knows more about Liverpool FC than those at The Anfield Wrap. Their popular podcast is hitting its 10-year anniversary this year and Reds fans from all over the world tune in weekly, to get their Merseyside fix.

TAW presenter, Neil Atkinson, still believes that despite all of Liverpool’s injury woes, poor decisions and missed chances, that they are not out of the race for fourth place just yet, however beating Manchester United at Old Trafford will be a difficult task.

“I think it’s possible,” confessed Atkinson. “The results between Leicester and Manchester United does make it less likely if we’re honest about it.

“But if Liverpool win their last four games from this position and don’t get it, they can feel like they have had a little bit of hard luck because if they win all four, that means they’ve actually gone 10 unbeaten and it doesn’t really feel that way.

 (Photo by Phil Noble – Pool/Getty Images)

“I do think it will be really hard to win at Old Trafford, I mean we can just sit here now and pick United’s team and it will be the strongest team they can possible put on the pitch. It’s going to be difficult for Liverpool because this is a good, if not great, Manchester United side.”

It isn’t just what United will bring to the table that will cause Klopp problems, but the continuous injury woes of the back four are still proving to be a chink in Liverpool’s armour.

“No matter what we do, we’re going to have weaknesses at the heart of the defence,” admitted Atkinson. “If they try to mitigate these weaknesses by putting Fabinho back there, which I think he probably should do, then there’s going to be weaknesses at the heart of midfield because he loses Fabinho.

“It’s almost like four cup finals in a really weird way, certainly this first one is. You have got to just pick a team to do a very specific job. It’s now not about setting a team pattern or anything like that, it’s about getting a specific job done, which is to get a result at Old Trafford.”

The Red Devils don’t have their full selection to pick from either however, and even though it was a depleted team that played Leicester two days ago, it’s still a very tight turnaround for matches and preparation for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“United aren’t without their problems and I think they will miss Maguire for a game like this one. We can decide that Maguire is a bit of a joke, but he has played every minute for this Manchester United side this season. So however you view him as a footballer, him not being there is disruptive.

“I think Liverpool can play on that disruption but the final part of it is when they get their chances, and they will get their chances, they have got to buck the recent trend and finish them. If Liverpool are clinical then they will win the game, but the problem that you’ve got is that Liverpool haven’t been clinical for a long time.”

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