Jamie Carragher believes not having the distraction of European football will see Liverpool finish in the Premier League’s top four this season.
The Reds finished eighth in the table last term, six points off Manchester City in fourth place. But ahead of his first full season in charge, Jurgen Klopp has strengthened his squad, most notably with the additions of Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, and Carragher believes his former side is capable of pipping Arsenal to one of the Champions League qualifying spots.
“I think we go back to the norm. I know Leicester fans may not like me to say that. But I think the heavyweights will come back,” Carragher told Goal.com.
“I’d expect the top four to consist of Man City, Man United, Chelsea and I think Liverpool might get in there.
“I think the fact that Liverpool have got no European football, the same as Chelsea, is a massive advantage they have on the others.”
Balotelli on a free is still paying over the odds by Nice.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) August 31, 2016
Carragher also gave his backing to Dejan Lovren, who has recovered from a shaky first season at Anfield.
He said: “He gets that big money move to Liverpool and it seemed to fall apart in his first season.
“I think it wasn’t helped by Brendan Rodgers’ team and they way they set up, they were on the front foot and as a defender it makes it more difficult.
“I don’t think that’s the case now with Jurgen Klopp and that’s what’s helped his performances and made him look more like a £20m player.
“But I still think there’s a way to go for him yet, I still think there’s some improvement we’d like to see at Liverpool – but he has vastly improved in his second season.”