After a series of misfires and stalls, the Liverpool juggernaut now roars down the highway towards a Premier League top-four finish, but the evil intentions of the fixture generator will ensure the Reds’ charge jack-knifes at the last.
It’s now just 5/4 that Brendan Rodgers’ side finish in the top four this term, a feat that was impossible to imagine following the 3-1 reverse at Crystal Palace in November that left them marooned in the bottom half of the table.
Since then they’ve lost just once in 15 league games and after seeing off Manchester City last time are 11 matches without defeat in a charge that is suspiciously familiar to the barnstorming run that almost brought them a first Premier League title a year ago.
As a result of this stellar form, the Merseysiders find themselves in fifth and just three points adrift of third-place Arsenal.
But the heartbreaking conclusion to their quest for English football’s richest prize last spring will strike again to scupper their hopes of Champions League qualification.
Liverpool are 3/5 to miss out on a seat at the continent’s top table next season and the results of their third and second last games of the campaign may well ensure this bet lands.
Matchday 36 sees the Reds tackle Chelsea and they entertain Crystal Palace on 37 in what is a mirror image of 2013/14’s end.
After surpassing all of their rivals to sit at the summit with three to play 12 months back, Liverpool were felled by a Blues side intent on spoiling their title party, before having their dream all but ended on a tearful evening at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles overturned their guests’ 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 and mark a night that will forever be remembered as ‘Crystanbul’.
Alan Pardew’s side have won five from as many away outings since the former Newcastle man took the reins and, if they can maintain this standard of performance ahead of their Anfield sojourn, they may well inflict more end-of-season misery on the Liverpool fans.