Reds look to con­sol­i­date top 4 spot

The New Age (Gauteng) - - SPORT -

LIVER­POOL have a chance to con­sol­i­date their po­si­tion in the Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion spots, when they take on Crys­tal Palace in the Pre­mier League on Sun­day, while three of the top four are in FA Cup semi­fi­nal ac­tion.

Look­ing to ben­e­fit from any slipup by Jür­gen Klopp’s side are fifth­placed Manch­ester United, un­beaten in 22 games, who will be hop­ing to make up fur­ther ground when they face Burn­ley at Turf Moor on Sun­day.

A hard­earned 1­0 win at West Bromwich Al­bion last week­end lifted Liver­pool to third place with five games left for the Reds.

Klopp’s side are un­beaten in seven games and de­fender De­jan Lovren said they needed to main­tain that level of con­sis­tency dur­ing the fi­nal run­in.

“We have a big thing to achieve, the Cham­pi­ons League. Ev­ery­one wants that but if you want to be a top team, you need to con­tinue to play well,” the Croa­tia in­ter­na­tional said.

Palace, how­ever, have been re­vi­talised un­der boss Sam Al­lardyce and have found some con­sis­tency of their own, pick­ing up 13 points from their last six games to surge away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Yet their hopes of con­tin­u­ing that good run could be dented by the ab­sence of in­form France cen­tre back Ma­madou Sakho, who is not el­i­gi­ble to play as he is on loan to the London club from Liver­pool.

United’s win over Chelsea on Sun­day has re­stored be­lief around Old Traf­ford that Jose Mour­inho’s team can make a push for the top four them­selves.

Burn­ley, how­ever, will not be a pushover and although they are 14th in the ta­ble, they have the sixth best home league record and drew at Old Traf­ford ear­lier in the sea­son.

Three of the Burn­ley team, keeper Tom Heaton, de­fender Michael Keane and winger Rob­bie Brady were prod­ucts of United’s youth sys­tem and will be look­ing to prove a point to the club who let them go. – Reuters

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