EPL: What It Will Take for Liverpool To Make the Top 4

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EPL: What It Will Take for Liverpool To Make the Top 4
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Twelve games.

That's all Liverpool has left to prove one of the greatest comebacks in English football history.

Twelve games to get back to the top four and the Champions League.

Twelve games to prove to Fernando Torres he was a complete idiot to demand a move to Chelsea.

Twelve games to prove every doubter out there that Liverpool still ranks with the top clubs.

How can they do it?

Right now, Liverpool is placed sixth behind the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham.

For all intensive purposes, it's highly unlikely that Manchester United, Arsenal or Man City will be caught.

That leaves Chelsea and Tottenham—each of whom have 13 games left to play.

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Over the past 13 games, Tottenham have been, by far, the better team than Chelsea by collecting 28 out of a possible 39. Chelsea, on the other hand, have only collected 16 points.

I actually didn't realize Chelsea had been playing that bad until I read that statistic.

Chelsea has remaining games with Manchester United (home), Manchester City (home), Tottenham (home) and Manchester United (away). Chelsea plays seven games home and six away.

Tottenham has remaining games with Arsenal (home), Manchester City (away), Chelsea (away) and Liverpool (away). They also have a match coming up away versus a determined Sunderland team. Tottenham has six games home and seven away.

Liverpool has remaining games with Manchester United (home), Manchester City (home), Arsenal (away) and Tottenham (home). Liverpool plays six games home and six away.

In other words, each club has four games against the established Big 6 of the Premiership.

Tottenham easily has the harder schedule with three of those big games being played away and only playing six home games.

This bodes well for Liverpool with the hotter team (Tottenham) playing a tougher schedule. If Chelsea continue with their current bad form, they could find themselves displaced by Liverpool sooner rather than later.

However, that's not a given as Chelsea are a winning club and a resurgent Fernando Torres could propel them upwards.

Liverpool, quite simply, have to win. Ties won't get the job done. They have one absolute, positive must-win game against Tottenham on May 15th. That game could very well decide who finishes in the top four and who finishes out of it.

Tottenham and Chelsea play on April 30th at Chelsea, and that game will most certainly have dire consequences for either side.

If Tottenham repeats their prior record and takes 28 out of 39 points, that would mean Liverpool would have to take 34-out-36. I don't know if any club is capable of that. It would mean they couldn't afford to lose one game and could only be afforded one draw.

More realistic is the outside chance they could take 30 out of 36 points. That could mean two losses or three ties. Even that is one heck of a run.

In other words, they can't play it safe. They can't play for ties or negative football. They must play every single game with the singular focus that it's a must-win or they're out of the top four.

I don't know if it's possible to make up six points with just 12 games remaining. It's impossible to predict. I think the deciding factor could come down to how Liverpool plays against the big clubs down the finish, because that's where they could gain ground.

It should make for an exciting finish, but I don't have my hopes up. I think they might be able to catch one club, but two is asking for a lot. It would really mean taking three wins against four big clubs and not losing to another club all the way down the stretch.

If King Kenny can pull this off, it's safe to say the full-time managerial job is his.

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