Liverpool have been one of the most unpredictable sides in the Premier League this season, looking like potential title-winners one minute and relegation candidates the next.
Brendan Rodgers has laid the foundations of a potentially excellent side, but there are certain areas of the pitch that definitely need addressing in the summer if they are to challenge for the top four next time around.
Jose Enrique is a solid player who is more than good enough to be in Liverpool’s squad, but is he consistent enough to be first-choice? I’m not so sure. He is capable of having great games and awful games one after the other, and when he is pitted against a lightning fast winger he struggles. Leighton Baines would be a prefect signing, but the chances of him joining Everton’s biggest rivals are slim to say the least. Davide Santon of Newcastle is another possibility.
With Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva in defensive midfield, that is as strong as any duo in the Premier League, but they lack creativity in the center behind the striker. They don’t have a Juan Mata, David Silva or Santi Cazorla. Christian Eriksen has been heavily linked, and he would be a great signing. Players like Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen will do a job there but are not good enough to play there week in week out, while Luis Suarez is wasted if he plays there.
The addition of Philippe Coutinho has been an excellent one, but Rodgers still needs more depth out wide. Stewart Downing has improved in the last few months but he does not represent the solution to their width issues. Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa is a player who Rodgers is believed to be interested in, and he would be a superb signing for the club. Daniel Sturridge can be used out wide but is more effective centrally.
In addition to these three key areas that need improving, Liverpool simply need a stronger squad. The quality they bring off the bench is not a patch on most of their rivals, and Rodgers needs to bring in 5 or 6 new faces at the end of the season.
Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]
So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:
- A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.
The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?
With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.
[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]
Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.
Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.
Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.
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Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.
Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).