The Premier League champions have endured a miserable title defence and are languishing down in seventh place – 25 points adrift of leaders Manchester City – after just four wins in the English top flight since the turn of the year.
However, green shoots of recovery were beginning to show before the international break as Jurgen Klopp’s men booked themselves a Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid with a comprehensive 4-0 aggregate victory over Leipzig.
The Reds then beat Wolves in the league and will no doubt take encouragement from the fact they ran out 3-1 winners over Arsenal in the reverse fixture at Anfield back in September.
‘Liverpool, with those Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals, they’ve got a route to the final now and I think it will engage the players’ minds because they are great players.
‘So I fancy Liverpool to go on a little run now.’
The ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and England winger is confident Klopp’s side can advance to the final four of Europe’s premier competition this term after their impressive last-16 win over Leipzig.
On whether he believes Liverpool will finish in the Premier League top four, Cole replied: ‘I don’t, but I think they will go right to at least the Champions League semi-finals.’
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insisted Liverpool were still ‘the second best team in every department’ in the Premier League despite their recent struggles.
‘I’m not the one to analyse what has gone wrong for them. I can talk about what they’ve done,’ Arteta told reporters.
‘I’ve seen a lot of games and what they’re still producing and the stats will support that. They are, if not the best, the second best team in every department that we coaches have to analyse.
‘But then this is football, the ball has to be in that net and the final action has to provide a moment to win a football match.
‘And then you have some individuals that dictate the quality of your team. Sometimes you cannot predict those things, so I think it’s a lot of things.
The Spaniard added: ‘Against these types of teams, with the quality that they have, they are going to punish you for every error that you do.
‘Even when you don’t make errors and you do everything perfectly, they are still able to break your lines, to create an individual action and to score a goal. Obviously, it is a team where nothing has to be given to them.
‘I prefer to look at ourselves. What they have done in recent years has been incredible.
‘Obviously the competition that they were facing with Manchester City made both teams better and I think they’ve been pushing each other to a different level, one that we probably haven’t seen in the Premier League.
‘That’s the level that we have to reach to compete with them. This season is so different, in particular they have had a lot of issues internally with big injuries. But they’re still amazing with what they’ve done.’
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