Liverpool fluffed a great chance to further consolidate 4th place in the Premier League when they chucked 2 points away against West Bromich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday.
With Everton bouncing back well from their Anfield trouncing and beating Villa 2-1 on Saturday, Liverpool needed 3 points to maintain the 4 point gap they had built up over their Merseyside rivals. And sadly for them, and Kolo Toure, they failed to get the job done.
Their closest rivals before this round of fixtures was Spurs, and they could only manage a draw at Hull, while Manchester United lost yet again. In the end, Everton were the big winners in the race for 4th spot.
Liverpool and Tottenham must know that games away at West Brom and Hull, respectively, are must wins games if you want to compete at the top end of the table, and the manner in which Liverpool gifted West Brom their point must be the most annoying thing of all.
In the betting, the top 4 finish odds see Liverpool as 4/6 favourites (working on the assumption Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea will all be in there) with Coral (£50.00 Free Bet available to new customers).
Next come Tottenham and Manchester United. Spurs are a best price of 7/2 with Ladbrokes, and Manchester United 10/3 with Coral.
Although Spurs are the longer price overall, most bookies have them shorter than Manchester United, with only Ladbrokes (£50.00 Free Bet) sticking their necks out and trying to tempt us to bet on Tim Sherwood’s team.
Most worrying for United (who are now 7 points behind Liverpool) fans and backers must be the fact that they had all their big guns back on Saturday. Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, even Michael Carrick, all played from the start against Stoke, and they still couldn’t even pick up a point.
I know Stoke have picked up under Mark Hughes in recent weeks, but a full strength United would fancy their chances going there. This must have been yet another crushing blow for David Moyes.
And finally, as I mentioned earlier in the piece, Everton were the big winners this weekend, but that doesn’t stop them being the outsiders in the race for 4th spot. You can get 6/1 with Boylesports on the Toffees claiming a place in the top 4.