Despite suffering their tenth defeat of the season at Blackpool on Wednesday , Liverpool remain favourites with bookmakers to finish in the top 6 of the Premier League this season excluding the current top five teams .
As far as bookmakers are concerned and most fans , Man Utd , Arsenal , Chelsea , Man City and Spurs are certain to finish in the top 6 positions and the race is on for which of the other clubs can finish sixth .
Last season Aston Villa pipped Liverpool in to sixth by one point with Villa finishing on 64 points . This season however the battle outside of the top 5 is much closer and in particular the teams at the bottom of the Premier League are taking more points from the “better sides”than in previous seasons .
Consequently it is estimated that as few as 53 points might be sufficient to grab sixth position this season and Liverpool are best price at odds of 9/4 to finish in the top 6 .
These odds are very short and anyone who fancies Liverpool to improve considerably under new boss Kenny Dalglish should take the 4/1 on offer with Stan James for Liverpool to finish in exactly sixth position . It is very difficult to see how Liverpool could finish higher than sixth as it will probably require around 67 points to finish in fifth position which is the same total Manchester City accumulated in 2009/10 to grab that position . To finish in fifth therefore Liverpool would have to win around thirteen of their remaining seventeen Premier League games , something which even Bill Shankly would find difficult ! .
So the value is either to back Liverpool at 4/1 with Stan James to finish sixth or to take the view that they will continue to underperform expectations and back one of the “minnows” such as Sunderland or Bolton to provide an upset .
Sunderland currently occupy sixth and look reasonable value at odds of 4/1 with Victor Chandler to hang on to that spot whilst Bolton are worth a saver at odds of 5/1 on Betfair .