The Merseyside outfit are seven points adrift of a Champions League spot in the Premier League table, but rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton all have a game in hand.
"I'll be shocked if they get in the top four," Nicol told talkSPORT. "Spurs aren't showing any signs of slipping up and I don't think Liverpool can catch Chelsea. Liverpool's basic problem is that one through 11 they don't have that consistent quality to get in the top four.
"They have great players, [Luis] Suarez and [Daniel] Sturridge are turning into a great partnership and you've got [Steven] Gerrard in the middle of the park, but after that there are no real world-class players or game winners.
"So the reason they won't get there is they're not good enough as a unit to win games comfortably when they should."