Paul Hassall meets former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt to talk Suarez, Sturridge and why Liverpool can be champions...
Dirk Kuyt believes the 'SAS' can fire Liverpool to title glory - but insists a top-four finish would be a 'fantastic' consolation prize.
The Reds moved to within four points of leaders Chelsea with a thrilling late win at Fulham last week, but it was the emphatic 5-1 demolition of Arsenal that saw them re-emerge as dark horses for the championship.
The Merseysiders now have 12 league games remaining, with no cup distractions, and Kuyt admits anything is possible with a front two like Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
"Liverpool are on fire and have produced some stunning football at times this year," Kuyt told FourFourTwo.
"The 5-1 win against Arsenal was unbelievable. I watched the 4-0 victory over Everton and was blown away by it, but the league performance against the Gunners eclipsed that.
"If I'm honest, two weeks ago I'd have said it was a big ask for Liverpool to win the title this season. Back in August their target started off as a Champions League place and that is still the number one priority.
"They still have to overhaul three teams to win it, but who knows what will happen. They are right in the mix now. It's a close league and they have shown they are a real force, particularly at Anfield.
"With Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in attack they will score goals for fun and that is crucial in any title-winning side.
"Fans are starting to dream and that's what football is all about. But no one should be disappointed if they come up a bit short and finish in the top four. That would be a fantastic achievement after finishing seventh last year."
The prospect of a return to Champions League football will be key to Liverpool's hopes of holding onto Suarez as speculation over Real Madrid's supposed summer interest refuses to go away.
Kuyt feels his old strike partner will be eager to sample some of Anfield's famous European nights and believes his partnership with Sturridge will already have the continent's top defenders quaking in their boots.
Indeed, the duo have plundered 39 league goals as a double-act so far this term, which is the best tally for a Reds strike-force since Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler netted a combined Premier League total of 42 back in the 1995/96 season.
Kuyt understands why fans and media alike have waxed lyrical about the Uruguayan, but insists Liverpool could be in an even stronger position if it hadn't been for an untimely pre-Christmas injury to his strike partner, who recently equalled the Reds' club record for scoring in eight consecutive matches.
The 5-1 win against Arsenal was unbelievable. I watched the 4-0 victory over Everton and was blown away by it, but the league performance against the Gunners eclipsed that
"They are unbelievable together," said Kuyt. "The partnership has fired from the word go and it continues to strike fear into the league's best defenders.
"It's a shame Sturridge was injured during a key part of December because they could have picked up points that could have seen them top of the league now.
"But the main thing this season is to get back into the Champions League because that is where Liverpool belong.
"Reaching the best competition around is the next step for everyone involved with the club and I think we would see big progression from these two strikers.
"Suarez has put all of his troubles behind him and come back stronger as a player and a person."
Kuyt left Liverpool for Turkish giants Fenerbahce in the summer of 2012, just as Brendan Rodgers was settling into life at the Anfield helm.
The Dutchman admires the way the Reds have evolved under the ex-Swansea boss and has praised the club's hierarchy for giving him time to flourish.
"Managers need to be given time and the good thing at Liverpool is that they have given Rodgers the opportunity to really establish himself," said Kuyt.
"In his first season the team struggled a little bit but towards the end of it they were getting better and better.
"This year you can see a big, big progression throughout the side. I think Rodgers' playing style has really shone through.
"Their chances of finishing in the top four are very good and being back in the Champions League would be a huge experience for the younger players and their development. It would also give Rodgers the chance to pit his wits against Europe's best managers too.
"If they can do that by winning the title that would be unbelievable. Everyone in Liverpool is desperate for that and I am no different.
"I'm an adopted Scouser now playing in Turkey but I still keep a close eye on how my old mates are getting on. I'd love them to win the league and they are moving in the right direction."