Whatever happens by 5.00pm on Sunday, Liverpool have every right to be proud of the season they have had. With Man Utd perennially being within the top three since the Premier League began in 1992; Chelsea and Man City having a bottomless pit of cash; Tottenham spending over £100 million; Arsenal finally spending money on a proven world class player, most pundits gave Liverpool faint hope of making the top 4, especially after missing out on several players - two of which ended up at Chelsea (Willian and Salah).
Yet, for all the disadvantages Liverpool had over their rivals, all except Chelsea and Man City faltered; and given the vast advantage Chelsea and Man City hold over everyone, they should be concerned that the billions they have spent only have them level pegging with Liverpool.
Detractors will argue Liverpool have had the added benefit of not being in Europe, that their position is false because their squad has not been stretched over 50+ games.
The more you play the more fatigued you will be, therefore the inverse must also be true. In this regard Liverpool have had an advantage, but what no one is acknowledging is you must be good enough to maximise the advantage. There is a reason why teams not in Europe hardly challenge for the top four, yet alone take the title race to the last day: they simply are not good enough. A lack of quality cannot be levied on Liverpool, their first team I would argue is a good as anyone's barring Chelsea and Man City.
Anyone needing more proof needs to understand Liverpool's revival did not begin this season, rather it was immediately after they brought in Sturridge and Coutinho last season. During the second half of last season Liverpool were able to match the top four in terms of results - this whilst being involved in Europe. Only a horrendous start kept Liverpool well away from the coveted top four come the end of that season.
Furthermore, only Arsenal have had a worse injury crisis than Liverpool this season. Many key players such as Sturridge, Sakho, Jose Enrique, Agger, Johnson, Coutinho, Flanagan, Joe Allen, Lucas and Martin Kelly have missed large chunks of the season through injury. Meanwhile, Luis Suarez missed the first five games through suspension. Make no mistake, Liverpool have suffered many injuries, they have just had the character and versatility to adjust seamlessly.
What Liverpool lack is squad depth; the fact they have targeted so many players early (namely Lallana) shows Liverpool do understand they need a more rounded team. Should they manage to land their targets and not let them go like they have done in the past, Liverpool will be able to challenge for the Premier League again. That is something worth smiling about.