Speaking after Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Sunderland, Brendan Rodgers voiced his belief that his side can string together the kind of run that almost brought them the Premier League title last term.
Their triumph on Wearside made it seven games without defeat in all competitions and the club now find themselves just five points shy of fourth-placed Manchester United in the race for a top-four finish.
An enormous 11/2 says they’ll end the season with a Champions League ticket in the bag and if they can replicate the form with which they concluded the previous campaign, as Rodgers is anticipating, this is a price that won’t be around for long.
The Reds lost just one match after New Year’s Day 2014, winning a staggering 15 of their 19 outings before ultimately falling two points short of eventual champions Manchester City.
“The exciting thing is we have always been better in the second half of the season and that is the business end.
“We will get Raheem back fresh and Sturridge back fresh and we also have Adam Lallana to come back – so it is going the way I hoped it would.”
It’s debateable whether the Ulsterman ‘hoped’ that Liverpool would be eighth in the table and out of the Champions League by mid-January, but they look well-placed to spark a skyward surge into the top-tier’s elite bracket.
Last term they were six points behind pace-setting Arsenal before the turn of the year.
They concluded the campaign five points and two places ahead of the Gunners after a second-half of the season point-accumulating spree.
At the halfway point of 2012/13, Rodgers’ first at the helm, they had just 25 points.
While they finished seventh that year, 12 points adrift of the fourth-place finishers, in the final 19 games they amassed 31 points to more than double their tally for the season.
Sturridge’s return is likely to inject another ten goals into their attack too and Sterling’s best form was produced in 2013/14’s second half last time around.
The signs suggest the Reds’ improved fortunes are set to continue into 2015, which spells danger for those to have discounted them from Champions League qualification contention.