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Don't Count on Liverpool for the Premier League Top 4 Just Yet

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Glenn HoddleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2014

Can Liverpool win the Premier League as Jose Mourinho suggests because they are not sidetracked by European play? No, I don’t think they can. They haven’t quite got a good enough team yet to win the title.

Can Liverpool finally break into the top four again and return to the Champions League? Well, not sure they can as it is 50-50 with the Spurs for that coveted fourth place in my opinion.

And on balance, I think the Spurs might have the edge for two reasons.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08:  Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers gives a thumbs up prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on February 8, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Firstly, I don’t think Liverpool’s away form is good enough. They have not looked good at West Brom and at Fulham. Their away form is their Achilles heel.

The other reason is that the Spurs have the better run-in. Their toughest games are against Arsenal and Chelsea, but they are both at home. Spurs have a series of games against the bottom clubs and while those teams are fighting for their very existence, those games are winnable for the Spurs.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12:  Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur (2r) celebrates scoring their third goal with team mate sduring the Barclays Premier League match between  Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park on Febr
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I fancy that the Spurs might just sneak in ahead of Liverpool, even though Liverpool are three points ahead. I don’t think that is a big enough cushion to get them across the line.

As it stands, I just don’t think Everton or the Spurs are that powerful to run away with fourth place as it is a very open contest. As I said, it's really 50-50 between the Spurs and Liverpool in my view, with the Spurs edging it because of their fixture list.

It’s going to be close, but for Liverpool the big difference between fourth and fifth is immense.

If they make it, then it will be a huge leap for them. They will be able to entice higher-profile players in the summer like they used to do 40 years ago.

If they don’t make it, it's not the end of the world because they are a progressive team. By that I mean they are making progress, and they will continue to strengthen and push for that fourth place. So if they don’t make it this time, they might well do so the following season.

Clearly, their main rivals are Tottenham and Everton this season and it will the same the next season.

All of that group are a little way short of breaking into the group of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. Then we also have Manchester United, who have a huge job to regain their status as the country's top club.

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