Why Liverpool need to win the Premier League title this year

With the destination of the Premier League title in their hands, Sports Mole assesses why it is vital Liverpool secure the trophy.

The equation is simple - win their remaining four Premier League fixtures and Liverpool will be crowned the champions of England for the first time in 24 years.

It's been a dramatic rise by Brendan Rodgers's side, who could only muster a seventh-placed finish last term. The ascent has been met with much surprise, so much so that many have insisted that if Liverpool were to lose out to either Chelsea or Manchester City over the coming weeks, their time will surely come.

However, Sports Mole has assessed why it could be vital that the Reds prevent their wait for the top prize from reaching the quarter of a century mark.

Chelsea

Never one to hold back, Jose Mourinho has, on occasions, criticised the performances of his strikers this season. Indeed, the Portuguese boss said last month: "I'm not happy with the performance of my strikers, so I have to try things."

After all, between them, Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba have found the net in the Premier League just 16 times. With that in mind, surely the Blues would have been romping to the title had they possessed a 20-goal a season frontman within their ranks.

One thing is for sure, Mourinho will land such a player during the summer. Diego Costa, who has scored 33 goals in 37 outings for Atletico Madrid, has been mooted. The Spanish international has a physical presence that is not too dissimilar to Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who led the line at Stamford Bridge for eight years with such distinction.

With Eden Hazard and Oscar another season wiser and Willian fully adapted to the English game, it has the potential to be a prolific front four with the Mourinho trademark solid defence behind them.

Atletico Madrid's Brazilian forward Diego da Silva Costa gives the thumbs up after scoring during the Spanish league football match Elche vs Club Atletico de Madrid at the Manuel Martinez Valero Stadium in Elche on November 30, 2013© Getty Images

Manchester City

First and foremost, had Sergio Aguero spent less time on the treatment table this term, City could well have been at the summit looking down on the rest. The Argentine has featured in only 18 Premier League games, but has still contributed 15 goals to the City cause.

It's the defence, though, where the Citizens need maintenance work. This season they've conceded three goals in defeats against Aston Villa and Cardiff City, while the likes of struggling West Bromwich Albion and Fulham were able to breach the City net twice.

Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta are among the best defenders in European football, but centre-back Martin Demichelis and left-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy are often pinpointed as the major weakness. Reports have suggested that manager Manuel Pellegrini has identified Eliaquim Mangala and Luke Shaw to plug those gaps. Joe Hart may also be replaced between the posts.

When taking into account the talent that City have in an attacking sense, a much tighter rearguard would potentially make them a formidable force.

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini prior to kick-off against Sunderland on November 10, 2013© Getty Images

Arsenal

It's been a similar story as far as the Gunners are concerned. They appeared to be major title contenders for many months, but March came around and the wheels spectacularly fell off.

Potentially, though, the squad at the Emirates Stadium is not too far away from being able to sustain a challenge over the course of the entire campaign. Granted they need to spend big on a striker, a holding midfield player, a defender and maybe even a goalkeeper, but the funds are available. Once Arsene Wenger, providing that he remains in the hotseat, removes the moths from the coffers, he must spend it wisely.

Even if Wenger were to depart, the remit will be the same. There are even those that believe that the Frenchman, who is out of contract in the summer, will have to leave if Arsenal are to mount a serious push for the bigger prizes.

Jurgen Klopp has been touted as a potential replacement and having had his hands tied financially at Borrusia Dortmund, the attack-minded German is probably not going to be shy when it comes to splashing the cash.

Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal celebrates after Olivier Giroud of Arsenal equalises making it 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2013© Getty Images

Manchester United

Liverpool's surge will be a source of much pain at Old Trafford. Having looked on enviously as the Merseysiders prospered during the 1970s and 1980s, Sir Alex Ferguson and United knocked their rivals off their perch and have sat proudly on top of it for the last 20 years.

Yet, with David Moyes not even 12 months into his United tenure, the roles have been spectacularly reversed. While Liverpool are 360 minutes away from glory, the Red Devils languish in seventh.

Can next season be any worse for United, though? The talk is that up to £200m will be made available to make what are much-needed additions to an ailing squad. But who will be sanctioned to spend it? Rumours are rife that despite handing Moyes a six-year contract last summer, the Glazer family have identified replacements for the Scot, with Louis van Gaal and Klopp among those said to be in contention.

Klopp, a favourite for the role among many United supporters, would provide an attacking brand of football that has been painfully absent for large parts of the campaign under Moyes's stewardship. What's more, due to his recent success with Dortmund, Klopp is likely to find it easier to attract the talent that United require than Moyes.

Man United manager David Moyes on the touchline during his team's Premier League match against Fulham on February 9, 2014© Getty Images

Liverpool

Of course, who is to say that Rodgers will not bolster and improve his Liverpool squad prior to next season? Even if they were to end this term in second or third spot, the return of Champions League football to Anfield may lure potential targets.

However, particularly where Chelsea, Man City and Man United are concerned, Liverpool cannot compete in terms of wages. Even Yevhen Konoplyanka, who was a January target of Rodgers, is believed to have been offered greater terms by Tottenham Hotspur ahead of a summer switch.

Then there is the Champions League - a competition that Liverpool have striven for in recent seasons. A major factor behind their success up until this point has been the luxury of a clear week to prepare and train, while their direct rivals have been competing in Europe and domestic cups between Premier League fixtures. The freshness that the squad has become accustomed to and benefited from will no longer exist - it becomes a major juggling act for Rodgers.

In Liverpool's defence, there is nothing to suggest that Rodgers will not be able to find the correct balance, but it has taken other managers and clubs at least a year to adapt to the rigours of a Champions League campaign. Only time will tell, but with those around them almost certain to make significant improvements, there is every chance that there will not be a better opportunity to scratch that title itch.

Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 30, 2014© Getty Images

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho celebrates after scoring his team's third goal against Manchester City during the Premier League match on April 13, 2014
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