.

With bragging rights once again secured on Merseyside, Liverpool must now turn their attention to wrapping up a top-four finish and returning to the Champions League.

Last weekend proved to be a good one for Jurgen Klopp’s side as results went their way, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all dropping points to help the Reds climb up to third in the table and six points clear of fifth place.

The 3-1 triumph over Everton came at a price, though, with Sadio Mane – arguably Liverpool’s star player this season – picking up an injury that could see him miss the remainder of the campaign. It is a blow that adds to Liverpool’s mounting injury concerns which could in turn expose a lack of depth in their squad during the run-in.

The upside for the Reds is that their run-in looks much kinder on paper than those of the teams around them. Every other club in the top six has two more matches against another top-six side, whereas Liverpool’s remaining eight games all come against clubs outside the top seven.

That being said, Klopp may prefer things the other way round. Liverpool’s last six Premier League defeats have come against teams who have started the match in the bottom half of the table, and four of their five losses this season came at the hands of sides who began the day in the relegation zone.

Bournemouth are the exception to that, but Liverpool will still be scarred by their damaging and dramatic defeat in the reverse fixture between these two sides as their defensive frailties were explosively exposed.

Klopp will be hoping that it is a different story at Anfield, where Liverpool have won four consecutive league games for the first time under the German and are bidding to make it five on the bounce for the first time since April 2014.

Only Tottenham Hotspur have amassed more points in front of their own fans than Liverpool this season, with the Reds having scored a league-high 39 home goals in the process, while the January loss to Swansea City is their only defeat in their last 23 Premier League games at Anfield.

Klopp’s side have kept just one clean sheet in 11 league games since the turn of the year, though, and should they allow Bournemouth to build momentum on Merseyside then they know first-hand what can happen.

 

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