Premier League • England

Liverpool top-four rivals sent chilling warning as Reds expected to ‘come flying out of the blocks’ when action resumes

Kostas Tsimikas, Curtis Jones, Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Liverpool, May 2022

Steven Gerrard has warned Liverpool’s top-four rivals that he fully expects Jurgen Klopp’s side to come ‘flying out of the blocks’ when domestic action kicks off again next week.

The Reds finished just a point behind Premier League champions Manchester City last season. However, they are currently sitting sixth ahead of the resumption following the World Cup, which comes to an end on Sunday when holders France face Argentina.

Despite missing out on the league, Jurgen Klopp‘s men still won the domestic cup double and reached the Champions League final last term, and they were heavily backed to knock City off their perch.

However, a poor start to the campaign has left Liverpool 15 points behind surprise leaders Arsenal. Meanwhile, they are currently seven points outside of the top-four places.

But Anfield favourite Gerrard insists the mid-season break came at a perfect time for the Reds. And he fully expects his old club to be much better when league action resumes.

Liverpool are currently warm-weather training in Dubai and return to action against City in the Carabao Cup on December 22. Their first Premier League outing back is a Boxing Day clash with Aston Villa.

And speaking to the club’s official website, Gerrard feels the break will have done Liverpool some good.

Liverpool reset came at a good time

He said: “Yeah, it is [like a second pre-season]. It’s an opportunity to get a lot of work in on the training ground [and] reset a few things.

“I’m sure Jurgen and his staff are doing a lot of things tactically but [it’s] also an opportunity to have a much-needed rest. They’ve played a lot of football over the last few years, they were involved in every competition last year.

“So to have a small pre-season before a ball was kicked [and then] to have this opportunity to rest and then have a second build-up, I’m hoping that Liverpool come flying out of the blocks.

“I expect a really strong six months and finish to the season because important players have had the chance to rest and recover and the players [who have been] in the World Cup should come back full of confidence, in a good place, physically ready.

“I expect a really strong, exciting finish to the season for the Reds.”

The chances of overhauling Arsenal and City do look completely unrealistic. However, Liverpool still have a genuine opportunity to break back into the top four.

The remaining two positions look to be a straight fight between the Reds, Newcastle, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea. However, high-flying Brighton could also be in the mix.

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