Former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher believes the Reds are in with a “great chance” of completing an historic treble after noticing a new energy in their squad in recent weeks.
The 44-year-old, who won the Champions League with the Merseyside club in 2005, admitted he had some concerns about Jurgen Klopp’s side after some unconvincing league displays even as the points kept racking up. However, he feels a corner has been turned.
Carragher was speaking after Klopp suggested his team might not get the respect they deserve for an “outstanding” season if it doesn’t end with them lifting the Champions League. Liverpool are due to face Villarreal in their European semi-final, and also have an FA Cup final against Chelsea on the horizon as well as a chance of Premier League glory.
“The thing that’s giving me real belief that Liverpool can is the energy in the last two or three performances,” Sky Sports pundit Carragher said. “I felt for six weeks, Liverpool had been getting the job done, haven’t been their normal selves but been grinding out results.
“The performance against Man City in the first half at Wembley and here in the first half against Man United, it was like they were playing in September/October,” he added. The cup victory over City was brought about by three first-half goals, while Klopp’s men scored twice without reply in each half against United.
As well as the seemingly revitalised squad, though, Carragher also pointed to the greater availability of players. After a defensive injury crisis last season threatened to keep Liverpool out of the top four, they enter the final few months of the season with a fully-fit squad.
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“The big thing they have now is that everybody is fit,” Carragher continued. “What gives them a great chance is if everybody stays fit. How Jurgen Klopp does that is why he’s a top manager. He will need to make changes at different times.
“He may make four or five changes today [against Everton ]. If he can navigate these last games of the season and keep everyone fit, Liverpool have got a great chance of creating history.”
Carragher was speaking ahead of the Merseyside Derby, with Liverpool looking for a win to keep pace with league leaders Manchester City. The reigning champions avoided a potential banana skin against former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson, beating the veteran manager’s Watford side 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Both title contenders could meet in a third different competition this season if they both win their Champions League semis. Both are against Spanish opponents, with Liverpool facing Villarreal and City up against Real Madrid.