Liverpool will blow top-four race wide open, says Arsenal legend

Paul Merson is backing Liverpool to beat Southampton at St Mary's

Liverpool can blow the top-four race wide open at St Mary’s this weekend, according to Paul Merson.

The Reds can move to within a point of fourth-placed Southampton if the 18-time English champions beat Ronald Koeman’s high-flying Saints side.

I really believe Rodgers can guide Liverpool into the top four and reach the Champions League again

Paul Merson

Liverpool were in action on Thursday night as Mario Balotelli scored a late penalty to seal a 1-0 win against Besiktas in the Europa League to maintain their recent momentum.

However, Arsenal legend Merson doesn’t expect the Reds to be suffering from an fatigue against the Saints, backing Brendan Rodgers’ side to beat their top-four rivals.

Merson told Sky Sports News: “Southampton have got a few injuries and, with Liverpool on a bit of a roll at the moment, Brendan Rodgers’ side can take advantage with a victory that will blow the race for the top four wide open.”

He added: “The goals have dried up a bit and they’ve picked up injuries to some key players. Liverpool are flying and I see them picking up a vital win.”

Liverpool endured a difficult start to their Premier League campaign after the Reds sold PFA player of the year Luis Suarez to Barcelona in a £75m deal.

However, Merson believes Rodgers will guide Liverpool to a top-four finish at the expense of Manchester United in the coming months.

MORE: Coutinho: Liverpool need to focus on Europa League

“With Manchester United struggling, I really believe Rodgers can guide Liverpool into the top four and reach the Champions League again,” Merson added.

Liverpool are in seventh place in the Premier League table, although the Reds are just five points behind third-placed United.

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