By support

27th Dec, 2016 | 11:04am

Stan Collymore: This is where Liverpool will finish in the league

By Matt Farr

Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has ruled out a Premier League title victory for Liverpool this season, saying the best they can hope for is third.

Collymore admitted that the club had been performing fantastically this season, but would not be able to maintain their challenge.

In his column for the Mirror, the 45-year-old wrote that Jurgen Klopp’s side would lose out to both Chelsea and Manchester City in the battle for the title, and that the best they could hope for would be a third-place finish.

Tipping them to beat both Stoke and City in their next two games, Collymore said: “Liverpool will be desperate to put on a show in front of their home fans and send out a message to everyone watching that they really are the most exciting team in the Premier League this season.

“I’m certain they can do just that with two wins, because neither Stoke nor City, to my eyes, have proved they can keep clean sheets on demand.

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“The only trouble is, neither have Liverpool and even though I’ve got them down to win these two battles, I still don’t think this season will see them win the war.

“In fact, I still think third or fourth place will be the best they can hope for with Chelsea the favourites as we reach the turn and City, with the best squad, the only side who can beat them.”

Collymore’s comments about Liverpool’s defending are accurate, with Klopp’s side having kept just three league clean sheets in the first three months of the season.

Their defensive record has improved of late, and they have kept clean sheets in their last two games. But the events that unfolded in Liverpool’s 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth, in which the Reds threw away a 3-1 lead within the final 15 minutes, remain a pressing concern for Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool are currently third in the Premier League, but could return to second if they beat Stoke at Anfield on Tuesday night.

The Reds have lost just once in their last 10 games, and are the league’s highest goalscorers with 41 goals.

In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp is prepared to allow Lucas Leiva to leave the club on loan next month.