Benitez makes top-four prediction, tells ‘great player’ how he can ‘make fewer mistakes’

Rafael Benitez has defended Liverpool as he thinks Jurgen Klopp’s side are still capable of earning a place in the top-four this season.

The Reds have endured an uncharacteristically poor first few months of the 2022/23 campaign.

Four wins, four draws and four losses in the Premier League leave Liverpool sitting around mid-table.

This form has led to Teddy Sheringham likening Klopp’s team to Tottenham Hotspur.

“Spurs won’t know what they’re going to get from Liverpool at the moment, Liverpool are doing a Tottenham!

“Winning one week nicely then losing the next week. It’s never a good time to take on Liverpool because we know how dangerous they are.”

As Sheringham hints, Liverpool have shown flashes of promise this season. Their win over Man City in particular was impressive.

But the good work done in that 1-0 win has been undone in recent weeks as Liverpool have fallen to defeats against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.

The Reds are already out of the title race with them 15 points adrift of early-season pace-setters Arsenal.

A more realistic aim for Liverpool is to pursue a spot in the Champions League. Even that is looking difficult though as they are eight points adrift of fourth-placed Newcastle with a game in hand.

Benitez is not too fearful about Liverpool though and he thinks they will be able to finish in the top-four.

“I am not as pessimistic about their prospects as everyone else,” Benitez wrote in The Times.

“This is not a normal season. They have had injuries, the World Cup is a distraction, but they remain a very strong team.

“I am sure they will recover and get into the top four in the Premier League, and we know from their performances in recent seasons how they can go far in European competitions.”

Several Liverpool players have underperformed this term, with Fabinho among the individuals who have come under fire.

The Brazilian has previously established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

Benitez believes Fabinho needs to have players around him “in the right positions”.

“Fabinho is a player who needs solutions around him,” Benitez added.

“He is not like Thiago Alcantara who can pass to his left, right, in front or wherever because he can see all these things. But then, Thiago cannot challenge like Fabinho or provide the same balance.

“In Fabinho’s case, the solutions are having players around him in the right positions so he can give them the ball.

“If this happens then he will make fewer mistakes and can continue protecting the centre-backs. He needs a bit of belief at the moment, but he is still a great player.”

READ MORE: The top 10 favourites to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager should silence critics


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