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Paul Merson: 'Unthinkable for Liverpool to miss out on top four'

Paul Merson says that it would be "unthinkable" if Premier League champions Liverpool were to miss out on a top-four place.

Paul Merson has said that it would be "unthinkable" if Premier League champions Liverpool were to miss out on a top-four place this campaign.

Jurgen Klopp's side were 36 points better off at this stage last season and following six defeats from 10 matches this year, the Reds are currently 19 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

Ahead of Thursday night's clash against Chelsea, former Arsenal attacker Merson has branded the fixture a "big game" for both clubs but feels that more pressure is on Liverpool to claim the three points.

"Liverpool and Chelsea and teams like that will be spending money on the strength of expecting that money to be coming in next season, Champions League money. That's why it's a big game - I don't think either team can afford to lose it," Merson told Sky Sports News.

"I can't explain how big it would be if Liverpool ended up not getting in the top four, it's massive. Massive. Liverpool can't not be in the Champions League.

"This Liverpool team of the last two years have been, bar the last three months, unbelievable. To be out of the top four would be unthinkable. Unthinkable. How are you going to get players to Liverpool now if they're not going to be in the Champions League? They need to get in the top four, 100%."

Victory for Liverpool would see them climb above both Chelsea and West Ham United into the top four, although the Hammers will have a game in hand, while a win for Thomas Tuchel's side would see them move four points clear of the Reds.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on February 16, 2021
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