On Sunday afternoon Liverpool will travel to the Midlands to face Aston Villa at Villa Park knowing that they must secure all three points if they wish to keep themselves in touching distance of a Champions League spot for next season.
Liverpool's form this season has been a little bit frustrating for their fans, and likely for manager Kenny Dalglish as well. The Reds have played well in a number of games but failed to come away victorious and a large part of that has been down their failure to score goals.
Defensively, Liverpool are the best team in the Premier League this season and that's always a good starting point for success. Liverpool have conceded more than one goal only once this season and that was when they were reduced to nine men against Tottenham Hotspur. It also didn't help that they lost Daniel Agger to an injury early in that match.
In terms of Liverpool's attacking players one could make the argument that only Luis Suarez has really displayed the type of form worthy of wearing the famous red jersey this season. New signings Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson haven't performed at the expected level, with Downing being a particular disappointment, Dirk Kuyt seems to have aged drastically over the summer months and Andy Carroll has been nothing short of a disaster.
Maxi Rodriguez and Craig Bellamy have impressed when they've played but unfortunately they haven't played nearly enough. Hopefully they will both be picked to start against Villa on Sunday because they're both in good form of late.
In this article I thought I'd take a look at five key players for Liverpool who will need to perform if they are to win against Villa and maintain their push for a top four finish.