Premier League • England

Liverpool told Arsenal can crumble Prem title hopes as Klopp trio warned club fate in their hands

Thiago Alcantara, Jurgen Klopp, Kostas Tsimikas, September 2022

Liverpool could be out of the Premier League title race if they struggle against Brighton and Arsenal, according to Paul Merson.

The Reds return from the international break following a flat start to the campaign. They had a lot to live up to after playing 63 games and coming close to a quadruple last season and a slump has been noticeable.

Liverpool have in fact only won three of their eight games in all competitions. In the Premier League, meanwhile, they sit eighth having won only twice.

And they come back to league action with an Anfield test against Roberto De Zerbi’s new-look Brighton.

They then play table-topping Arsenal away from home, with a Champions League clash against Rangers slotted in between.

According to former Premier League star Merson, it is do or die for Liverpool’s title hopes in the next week.

“This is a massive game for Liverpool,” the pundit wrote in his Sportskeeda column. “They have a Champions League match next week and a Premier League fixture against Arsenal after that – it’s such a big week so early in the season.

“In my opinion, they’ll need to win all these three matches.

“The way Liverpool have played over the past three years, a third or fourth-place finish in the Premier League is not a success. If they don’t win their next two league matches, they might find themselves out of the title race.”

Paul Merson urges Liverpool trio to step up

Merson added that Liverpool have few excuses given the lack of minutes their top stars played at the international break compared to some Premier League teams.

Jordan Henderson returned from injury to play a cameo role for England. Three Lions colleague Trent Alexander-Arnold did not play a minute, despite Gareth Southgate calling him up.

But, Merson focused on Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho and Darwin Nunez as other key players who must step up as they are still fresh.

“Fabinho played only 70 minutes for Brazil, but he has travelled quite a bit,” the pundit added. “Thiago wasn’t picked by Spain for their Nations League fixtures, and he’ll be fresh going into this game.

“Jurgen Klopp will persist with Salah and Luis Diaz in his forward line.

“I think he’s got to play Darwin Nunez as well – they paid a massive fee for him and they now have to back him. I’m still going with Liverpool to win this game.”

Reds stars need to carry on momentum

Liverpool headed into the international break off the back of a 2-1 Champions League win over Ajax.

The Reds broke their recent trend of conceding first when Mohamed Salah made it 1-0. However, they were nevertheless cut open easily by the Eredivisie giants for 1-1.

And it was only until Joel Matip made it 2-1 late on that Liverpool fans inside Anfield could rest easy.

The big difference was, their intensity was back and they created a host of very good chances.

Liverpool just need to work on their clinical finishing and they could well return to consistent good form, as has been the way for much of Klopp’s time in charge.

REAAD MORE: Reds eye ‘most exciting’ Egyptian talent since Salah, with star convincing chiefs over bargain