Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has given concerned fans renewed hope by guaranteeing that his side will finish in the top seven of this season’s Premier League.
The Spaniard, who was widely mocked in December when he guaranteed a top four finish with its prize of a Champions League place, gave the revised guarantee with less than a week of the season left.
“Everton are four points behind us with just one game to play. I absolutely 100% guarantee that they will not overtake us”, Benitez promised, “Even if we lose and they win and vastly improve their goal difference.”
The manager’s new guarantee did not end there, however. “I guarantee we will finish ahead of Birmingham too. They’ve averaged less than a single point in away games this season – they’re almost certainly not going to pick up the 12 points they need to catch us up at Bolton.”
Benitez also confidently wrote off the threat from eleventh-placed Fulham. “Sure, they’ve got a game in hand, but they’re 16 points behind us.”
“I just don’t see them making up that kind of a gap when they’ll be resting players for the Europa League final. I guarantee we will finish ahead of them.”
“If you can find a bookie, I strongly recommend backing us to finish ahead of Fulham.”
Benitez was cautious when it was pointed out that mathematically, his side could still finish in sixth place.
“Look, I don’t want to guarantee something like that and it not come true. Boy would I have egg on my face. Let’s just say I’m pretty sure we won’t get relegated and see what happens – anything else I could end up looking stupid.”