With the way this season has opened up, a side can perform to a high standard, be in the title race and still end up not qualifying for the Champions League. Liverpool do not want that to do that.
Having taken 36 points from their first 17 games to sit top of the table (on goal difference), you’d certainly expect Liverpool to be in the mix for the Champions League places at the very least.
Gerrard told Sky Sports: ‘I think if we were to finish outside the top four I think it would be a disappointing season.
‘I think we’re title contenders if we’re in the title race with 10 games to go – I don’t carried away or change targets or raise expectations around the city just because we’ve started the season very strong'.
The fact is however, in this highly competitive season, Liverpool must have about as much chance of actually winning the title as they have finishing outside the top four - it's that open. The margin between success and failure this season looks likely to be very small.
In fact, the fight to even get into the Champions League looks like being as competitive as winning the title, with 8 teams realistically challenging for just four positions. Interestingly, the top five sides so far this season are averaging at least two points per game and, if this trend continues, a team could achieve 76 points and still not make it into the Champions League.
Will Liverpool finish in the top four ?
image: © Ben Sutherland