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Liverpool vs QPR, May 2 2015

01 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Liverpool vs QPR, May 2 2015

In theory Liverpool should put another nail in the QPR coffin. In reality the Reds' poor run might not be over yet.

THEY’LL have had a bad feeling about their clash with a Liverpool side denied victory in their previous two matches.

Hull, however, kept all three points at the KC on Tuesday night to pull off a shock. And QPR might just find on Saturday that they are able to cash in on a malaise that is not yet over for last year’s runners-up.

It will be fascinating to know how Liverpool’s end-of-season collapse is being viewed by the club’s top brass. The season is ending particularly badly for the Reds.

Yet while there is no suggestion that they are turning it in deliberately there will be few tears shed on Merseyside if they miss out on a marathon slog in next season’s Europa League.

The last time both Liverpool and Spurs qualified for the Champions League they did not play in the Europa League the season before.

At this rate the Reds won’t be in it anyway. Daniel Sturridge has been signed off for the season as he looks to recover from his injury woes. Emre Can is suddenly playing like a midfielder who doesn’t really want to be in defence.

And the Liverpool backline as a whole appear to have clocked off for the campaign judging by their display at Hull on Tuesday night.

The team have been poor of late. They disappointed hugely in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa. They couldn’t break down West Brom in the League at the Hawthorns and it was a similar story at Hull.

Mario Balotelli continues to show himself to be the biggest waste of talent since Adrian Mutu who decided being a playboy was better than being a playmaker (I know he was a forward, just in case you want to be pedantic).

Fabio Borini really isn’t good enough, Brendan Rodgers appears not to want to play Rickie Lambert and if Raheem Sterling, Coutinho or Jordan Henderson don’t score then you have to wonder where the goals are coming from.

(Liverpool have scored once in their last three matches. Joe Allen’s goal against Newcastle was his first in 34 games in all competitions this season).

So as bad as QPR might be right now – they have won twice away from home since Boxing Day and despite all their honest endeavour, they have at least one decisive mistake in them per game – maybe Chris Ramsey’s men have a chance.

You’d have put money on Liverpool seeing off a Hull side whose win at Crystal Palace last Saturday was their first in seven games stretching back to February.

 That defeat, however, and the way in which the Reds huffed and puffed in response, was alarming.

It suggested, with a seven-point gap between themselves and fourth-placed Manchester United and no dream FA Cup Final for Steven Gerrard to aspire to, that the season cannot end quickly enough for the men from Merseyside.

It might just be the right time for Rangers to rock up at Anfield. 

That isn’t to say that Rodgers is not still the man for the Liverpool job.

The storm clouds may be gathering over him, particularly with Jurgen Klopp available this summer. 

But Rodgers has been bullish about just why the job should still be his and the Anfield hierarchy appear to agree.

Players are already being lined up ahead of next season and, despite hopes of the top four fading away, there is faith in work that the former Swansea boss has done.

In a way, the fickle nature of football has been encapsulated this season in the attitudes towards Rodgers.

At the start of the current campaign there were suggestions that he would somehow be ”found out” following the defection of goal machine Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

Liverpool’s start to the season, six wins from their first 18 games in all competitions – culminating in their defeat at Crystal Palace – gave succour to the critics who believed Rodgers was not all he was cracked up to be.

The run that the Reds went on after the Palace humiliation, however, was outstanding.

Just two defeats in 29 matches – coping magnificently for much of that run without injured striker Daniel Sturridge – had many of the same people who buried the Liverpool boss gushing over “the job he’s doing”.

At the time Liverpool looked good for a place in the Champions League group stages, never mind fourth place, his admirers were once again suggesting he was in line for the Manager of the Year award.

Two defeats in seven games later and he has gone back to being a busted flush again.

The Anfield hierarchy know just how talented he is. Yes, they might have overpaid for players in certain areas and yes, some of his signings have yet to show on a consistent basis that they have been worth the outlay.

But with the right players Rodgers has shown that he can produce good football and more than punch above the club’s weight.

He’ll be back next season.