Time is short for Liverpool in the 2022/23 season. After last night's 3-0 win at Leicester City, there are only 2 games left this season. It's crazy to think about everything that has happened since the Reds kicked off their season back in August at Fulham.
Liverpool's seventh win in a row on Monday night has guaranteed them a European tournament for next year. The question remains, which one though? Right now, the Reds are still in 5th, which is only good enough for the Europa League.
There will be plenty of time for year-in-review articles coming up, right now let's focus on the task at hand. Liverpool face a dangerous Aston Villa side for their final home game of the year on Saturday. Villa have made a remarkable turnaround under Unai Emery and currently sit 8th in the Premier League.
Point 1- Fingers Crossed the Toon Drop Points
Unfortunately, thanks to dropped points earlier this year, Liverpool do not control their own destiny in terms of getting into the Champions League. Last week, I talked about getting a little help from the Football Gods and that remains the case.
Liverpool are still one point behind both Manchester United and Newcastle United for either 3rd or 4th place. The problem is, they both have a game in hand. The Reds got a little bit of help this weekend from Leeds United, who managed a draw with Newcastle.
This week is the big week for the Toon. Newcastle play their game in hand on Thursday against Brighton and then Monday they play Leicester City. We all need to keep our fingers crossed that Newcastle drop points in one or both of those matches.
Point 2- United Up for a Fight With Bournemouth
Manchester United hold on to their game in hand for another week but they also have a game this coming weekend. They play Bournemouth on Saturday and it would just be peachy for Liverpool if the Cherries somehow poach points from United.
Bournemouth just got their tickets punched to their next Premier League season this weekend. They are safe from relegation and might not be as sharp as if they were fighting for their Premier League lives.
You never know but, it feels like Manchester United will have the upper hand in this match in the fight department. Bournemouth have no reason to play with cutting-edge this weekend, United do. They know Liverpool and Newcastle both want one of those two Champions League spots.
Point 3 - Go From 7th Heaven to the Great 8
I have been pretty hard on Liverpool this season but, I have to give it up, they have been playing great football lately. Of course, the seven wins in a row has been their best stretch of play this season. Add the two draws previously, and the Reds have not been beaten in nine games.
I have also been beating the drum in this column for weeks now that European qualification was still possible. Now with last night's win, it is a reality, Liverpool will play in a European competition next year. The odds are still against them for Champions League qualification but it is still possible.
Liverpool must keep winning, that's it. We can keep our fingers crossed all week, but the Reds need to beat Aston Villa for their eighth win in a row. I thought the Tottenham match would be the Reds' last big test but, this Villa team will be primed to spoil Liverpool's great run.
Saturday's match will be the last one at Anfield for this season. I think that gives an advantage to Liverpool and I hope the players will feel the special atmosphere. The Anfield edge is what is going to be the difference in keeping the Reds' momentum going into the top four. The Anfield faithful will get this winning streak to eight.