Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor

Liverpool can still push for a UEFA Champions League position this season, according to the editor of a leading fanzine.

Brendan Rodgers' side enjoyed an excellent 2013-14 season and lost out on the Premier League title to Manchester City by just two points.

The first half of this campaign has been a different story, though, with Liverpool struggling to produce the dazzling attacking displays that earned them so many plaudits last term.

Rodgers has struggled to replace Luis Suarez, who moved to Barcelona in the close-season, and persistent injuries to Daniel Sturridge have also affected his side's potency.

Liverpool were top of the table at Christmas last year, but sit 10th 12 months on having lost seven of their 17 Premier League games so far this season. 

The club were also eliminated from the Champions League in the group stages, but Gareth Roberts - editor of The Anfield Wrap - believes there is more than enough time for Liverpool to challenge for a top-four place and a return to European football's top table.

"Yeah, I think [we can challenge for the top four] because we've lost seven games, which is disappointing when we only last six last season, but I think there's a saving grace that so many other sides have been poor as well," Roberts told Perform.

"[The gap to fourth] is not insurmountable. I don't see why not. We have to find a way of winning games regularly. That's seemed beyond Liverpool in the past couple of months.

"But there have been signs of recovery the last couple of games, in terms of the playing style [which] looks like one the players are at ease with.

"Previously there seemed like too many square pegs in round holes. Players didn't seem comfortable in what they were being asked to do."

However, Roberts believes the recruitment of a new goalkeeper in January is essential if Liverpool are to bridge the nine-point gap to the top four in the second half of the season. 

Simon Mignolet started the season as Rodgers' number one, but a string of errors have seen Brad Jones usurp the Belgian between the sticks.

But Roberts feels that neither keeper is of a high enough calibre to be first choice at Anfield.

"The number one priority for Liverpool has to be a goalkeeper," he added. "That's the glaring thing for me.

"I don't think Simon Mignolet or Brad Jones are good enough to be number one at Liverpool.

"Both of them are error prone and we've seen Rodgers drop Mignolet for Jones, and Jones has come in and made mistakes.

"I don't think we can rely on either. It's strange that it's something that hasn't been addressed already.

"The goalkeeper and other areas were problems that were there last season, it's just we clicked so well in attack that it papered over the cracks."