Paul Merson predicts Liverpool v Middlesbrough
By Amir Mir
Paul Merson has backed Liverpool to beat Middlesbrough 2-0 in their final Premier League match of the season on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will welcome the already-relegated North East outfit to Anfield, knowing three points will ensure they finish in the top four.
Defeat or dropped points would mean that Liverpool would be depending on Everton to keep fifth-placed Arsenal at bay.
Arsene Wenger’s team are one point behind the Merseyside club and they will host the Toffees at the Emirates Stadium.
Former Aston Villa midfielder Merson questioned whether the Reds can throw their big opportunity way.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“I do expect Liverpool to win,” Merson told Sky Sports. “Their form hasn’t been great against the lesser teams, but they have to win. Surely they can’t throw it away from here?
“On the first day of the season, if someone had said to them ‘you’re playing a team who is relegated, they can’t win a game for toffee and you’ve got to beat them at home to make it into the Champions League’, you would take that all day long.”
Liverpool will go into the final match of the season on the back of an impressive 4-0 win away at West Ham last Sunday.
Striker Daniel Sturridge returned to the starting XI and scored upon his return, with playmaker Philippe Coutinho being the star of the show by netting brace.
The Brazilian will be key to his team picking up points because fans are well aware that Coutinho on song bodes well for the team.
Over the course of the season, Coutinho has played 35 matches in all competitions, scoring 13 goals and supplying nine assists.
During his 30 league matches, he has scored 12 goals and provided seven assists, including finding the back of the net on six occasions in his last seven games.
During that period, Klopp’s team have gone on to record five wins, but they did suffer a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in their last home match.