Craig Bellamy: Why Liverpool won’t finish in top four
Former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy doesn't expect the Reds to finish in the Premier League top four
Liverpool won’t finish in the Premier League top four this season, according to Craig Bellamy.
The Reds suffered a surprise 3-0 defeat by West Ham United at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
They’re desperate for [Daniel] Sturridge to have an injury-free season as he holds a lot of the keys as to how Liverpool will do
Brendan Rodgers has invested heavily in playing staff over the summer transfer window, including the £32.5m arrival of Christian Benteke from Aston Villa.
The Merseyside outfit finished in sixth place last season, and former Liverpool striker Bellamy doesn’t expect a major improvement this term despite all the new signings.
“I’d love to say they can qualify for the Champions League but I feel they will fall a little bit short of that again this year,” Bellamy told Daily Mail.
“I think [Christian] Benteke is a brilliant signing – he’s definitely a player who is going to do well. They’re desperate for [Daniel] Sturridge to have an injury-free season as he holds a lot of the keys as to how Liverpool will do.”
Liverpool are looking to seal a return to the Champions League next term after the Reds could only manage to qualify for the Europa League last season.
But Bellamy believes Liverpool could even struggle reach the latter stages of Europe’s second-tier competition due to their domestic commitments.
“In the Champions League you’re travelling to some of the best cities and stadiums in Europe but in the Europa League you’re going further out, to lesser stadiums, travelling is a lot more stressful and I feel in that competition everyone just wants to get through,” Bellamy added.
“You try and get to the quarter-finals as well as you can with your league form intact, while changing as much as possible, but it get serious around about the knockout stage.
“Before then you just want to try and keep your league position as strong as possible while trying to get through the group stages.”
The former Wales international was part of Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool squad that finished as Champions League runners-up in Athens in 2007.