Emre Can determined to seal top-four finish despite loss

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Both Manchester clubs have two games in hand in the scrap for Champions League places, meaning Liverpool's fate is no longer in their own hands.

"We will fight for the Champions League spot".

Allardyce, who has engineered victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and now Liverpool in recent weeks, said there was a sense of relief that there was clear breathing space now between them and the bottom three - they are seven points clear of Swansea.

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"They haven't got European football, so they're just preparing for that one game a week. We have to look game by game and at the end of the season we will see what happens", said Wijnaldum. They've dropped points in three of their last five away games in the league, drawing five of their 11 away games against teams outside the top five this season.

Liverpool's final four games are against Watford, Southampton, West Ham United and Middlesbrough.

A centre-back and a central midfielder (Virgil Van Dijk and Naby Keïta?) would be a great start but more is needed if Liverpool are to progress and hold off those below them. "Some of the other top teams will play against each other and we will give it our best".

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Time will only tell if Liverpool's costly defeats to the Premier League's smaller clubs will cost them their return to Europe's elite club competition.

"But you only need to look at those players, and if you're doing it at European level for Celtic and you're playing under the pressure of playing for Celtic then you have to have something about you".

Ahead of tonight's clash, Allardyce said: "I wouldn't swap him at this moment". He's fast, he can play, he is an global footballer.

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Whilst additional firepower, and particularly width, would be welcome, Liverpool remain the top scorers in the Premier League, and the focus should be on signing defenders and defensive-minded players first and foremost. With the top-four race taking a new twist every week, it has become impossible to predict.

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