3 Points for the Week for 4/24

25th April 2023

Liverpool have a very busy last week of April. First, is a midweek clash with West Ham United on Wednesday night in East London. Then they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Sunday. This is a bit of a change for the Reds, as the last few weeks have been positively chilled in comparison with fewer matches.

Liverpool took care of business, with the 3-2 win against Nottingham Forest on Saturday and have some real momentum going into this week's matches. I talked about the Reds keeping Uncle Mo on their side going into the Forest match and they did.

While it wasn't a perfect match, Liverpool overcame thanks to timely second-half goals by Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah. Liverpool now have a 4-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League going back to the 0-0 result against Chelsea on the 4th of April. 

I'd say they definitely have the ship going in the right direction. Here are the for this week, if they want to keep sailing on to the end of the regular season with the wind at their backs:

Point 1 - Climb That Table!

Liverpool have taken 8 points from their last 4 games and have been able to claw their way back into the conversation for Europe places. They currently sit 7th and are only one point behind Aston Villa for 6th.

Most importantly, the Reds are only 3 points behind Sunday's opponent Tottenham for 5th place. 5th place is important as it is the position on the table for automatic qualification for the . And as I said in this column two weeks ago, if we can't get into the it should be Europa League or nothing. 

While the Reds should be focused on trying to catch who are ahead of them, they can't sleep on Brighton. The Seagulls are only one point behind Liverpool, now with 2 league games in hand after their FA Cup semi-final run. Liverpool are going to face stiff competition for Europe. They mustn't let up now.

The Reds have a relatively easy run into the end of the season. However, this week's games are the exception. While nearly safe, West Ham are still desperate to avoid the drop and Tottenham are struggling at the moment but, make no mistake, Tottenham are still a very good team.

Point 2 - Hammer the Hammers

It wasn't that long ago that were in the relegation spots. Then they went 3-1-1 in the in the month of April and now the Hammers are virtually safe for next season. Most recently, they beat fellow strugglers, Bournemouth on Saturday 4-0. 

West Ham have arguably had an even more disappointing season than Liverpool's. They qualified for the Europa Conference League last season after a deep run into the proper Europa Cup tournament. They are still active in the 3rd tier European competition, having made it into the competition's semi-finals. However, in the league, they've been near the bottom all season.

Some would argue, including me, that being involved in the Conference League is one of the reasons that West Ham have struggled this year. It's an all too real example of why the Reds need to avoid the Conference League. They can do that by taking another big 3 points from East London on Wednesday night.

Point 3 - Keep it Spursy

This week's other opponent, have a reputation for late-season failure. It happens so regularly that they have their own adjective, “spursy.” You should use it as follows: Tottenham have been looking very spursy lately or that was a very spursy for Tottenham this weekend.

Tottenham indeed had a very spursy weekend this past weekend. They got demolished by Newcastle 6-1, and are clearly the most vulnerable team in the top 5. Tottenham have been in full meltdown mode for over a month now.

After former manager Antonio Conte's epic tirade in his post-game press conference after a spineless against bottom-of-the-table , he was fired. The Spurs have been without a manager since and are frittering what looked like a sure Champions League spot at the beginning of March. 

Liverpool need to pile on this misery and keep Tottenham's run of form very spursy. The Spurs are arguably the Reds' most difficult opponent left this season, and despite their recent struggles are still in a position that Liverpool very much want to be in, a Champions League place.

This week is Liverpool's best chance at getting into the Champions League next year, it is a very difficult path to get there but, taking 6 points from both matches is essential if they are going to do it. Neither match is a sure victory, West Ham are in decent form, in a relegation rumble with 6 other teams, and have a -field advantage on Wednesday. 

Tottenham are not going to take getting smashed by Newcastle lightly. However, they also have a midweek game to contend with before they come to on Sunday. The Spurs have the pleasure of playing another top-5 team, Manchester United, on Thursday night, who have been in great form recently.

The trends suggest that West Ham United are actually the more dangerous team of the 2 Liverpool play this week. I think if the Reds can take at least a point from East London on Wednesday, they'll be set up to keep Tottenham spursy on Sunday at home with a . 6 points from these two matches are fantasy, but 4 could be a reality and would still put them in the fight for European football next year.

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