Dejan Lovren believes that Liverpool would be “in the place of Chelsea” if they had not suffered injuries.
Jurgen Klopp has guided the Reds into third place despite a succession of injuries throughout their season, while leaders Chelsea have had no notable absentees for long periods of time.
Liverpool coped well with the absence of key midfielders Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson in the 3-1 win over Everton, with Lovren himself having been sidelined at times.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been beset by injuries to key players, with Philippe Coutinho’s six-week absence mid-season having a particularly debilitating effect after they had already lost striker Danny Ings for the season with a knee problem and seen fellow forward Daniel Sturridge struggle with a number of issues again.
At the back Lovren and preferred first-choice partner Joel Matip have both had extended absences and the Croatian believes that has impacted on what, in December, looked like being a genuine title challenge.
“Listen, it is important. If you don’t have injuries you will be in the place of Chelsea. Chelsea have not had one injury I do not think,” he said.
“Sometimes you need to be lucky in football, but we also played (against Everton) without Henderson and Lallana who are massive players for us, but we showed we can play against everyone with other players.”
After a shaky start to his Liverpool career in 2014 Lovren is in talks over a new contract and expects to have it signed before the end of the campaign.
“Yes, I think the progress is going on still. We will see. Everything will be clear in the next month,” he added.
“I have said many times I am happy here and I am settled after everything that happened in the beginning, so I just want to improve here and show my quality and give my best for the club.”