Dreaming of Wembley gets reluctanty put on hold

However unlikely, Liverpool could be as little as one point behind Chelsea in the league by next Tuesday night.

But first of all they go to Sunderland tomorrow, where if they were to come away with less than three points, you would probably expect them to rest players in the Merseyside derby in preparation for the FA Cup. Sunderland themselves might be looking ahead to Everton next weekend, but after consecutive games without a win their priority should be on trying to resolve their current mid-table standing in the league, before turning their attention to the cup quarter finals.

Since beating Wolves 3-0 at the end of January, Liverpool’s next three games were against opposition currently in the top four. A goalless draw at home to Spurs was followed by a pair of 2-1 defeats, which were the first two occasions this season that Liverpool have scored in games which they have gone on to lose – some explanation as to how their shortage of goals hasn’t held them back too much.

The critics of course can now confidently state that Liverpool’s shortage of goals is to blame for them missing out on a top four finish. So perhaps a good response would be for them to get involved in a few high scoring encounters between now and the end of the season and see how the fans respond to that after a campaign that has so far included eight 0-0 or 1-1 draws in the league at Anfield.

The Black Cats of course had their local derby last weekend, in which they narrowly missed out on taking all three points, but they will be missing two key players through suspension. They remain 10 points behind Newcastle who travel down to Arsenal on Monday, so there’s certainly a potential chance of that gap becoming slightly narrower.

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