Jamie Carragher doubts whether Liverpool are good enough to finish in the Champions League places this season.
Heading into their crunch clash with bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday, Liverpool sit ninth in the Premier League table after 21 games.
Jurgen Klopp’s side sit five points behind Tottenham, who currently occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot, with Arsenal, Leicester and Manchester City all at least a further four points ahead.
With the Reds holding a 1-0 advantage heading into the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final against Stoke this month, Carragher believes his former side should prioritise that tie over the game with United, who could open up a six-point advantage on the Reds with victory at Anfield.
In his column for the Daily Mail, Carragher wrote: ‘I don’t think Liverpool are good enough to make the Champions League this year and a loss to United could potentially mean they come out of the weekend eight points behind fourth place with five or six clubs ahead of them. They would virtually have no chance of qualifying from that position.
‘Liverpool showed great desire to come back against Arsenal on Wednesday but, as good as that was, you can’t forget the way they performed in the 2-0 defeat at West Ham a fortnight ago. There is a reason they are in ninth place.
But I’m not worried where they finish this season, whether it is fifth or eighth. What I am bothered about are trophies and that’s why Stoke City on January 26 is much bigger for Klopp and Liverpool than a visit from Manchester United.’