Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four have been boosted even before the first ball is kicked in their Sunday encounter with Manchester United at Anfield
On Sunday evening, the Reds face an in-form Manchester United, hoping to maintain their late-season bid for a Champions League position.
Liverpool are currently four games unbeaten in the Premier League, winning three of them, after a terrible first half of the season and an even worse stretch before the turn of the year.
They enter their clash with United 10 points behind their historic rivals, but a win would considerably reduce that with 13 games remaining.
The immediate goal for Jürgen Klopp and his team, though, will not be catching third-placed Manchester United, but rather those in fourth and fifth position.
Thankfully, both Newcastle and Tottenham failed to pick even a single point on Saturday, providing Liverpool with a tremendous opportunity.
Newcastle’s anticipated slump continued with a 2-0 loss to Manchester City, leaving Eddie Howe’s team with three losses in all competitions and no wins in five league games.
With a win over United, Liverpool would jump Newcastle into fifth place, despite having played one more game than the state-funded team.
Nevertheless, Tottenham was defeated 1-0 by Wolves three days after losing to Championship team Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup.
Wolves overcame their midweek frustration to achieve a crucial win at Molineux, with Adama Traore scoring the game-winning goal.
And now, if Liverpool beats United, they will be three points behind Tottenham in fourth place, with a game in hand over the north London club.
Of course, there are many ifs for this to happen, but two other results have further heightened the significance of the Reds’ latest league game.
Nevertheless, if they are successful against United, passing Newcastle and closing in on Tottenham, their glory may be fleeting, as Fulham have a similar opportunity against Brentford on Monday night.
With Brighton smashing West Ham 4-0 on Saturday, bringing them to within a point of Liverpool with a game in hand, the fight for the top four remains tight, with as many as nine teams in contention.