Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Liverpool will Kop a cup but need to finish in top four

On Sunday, I can’t see anything other than a Liverpool victory in the Carling Cup Final.

Having watched Cardiff very carefully in the two legs of their semi-final, I think it’s inconceivable that they’ll cause an upset.

Would a trophy then redeem the disappointments elsewhere this season for Kenny Dalglish’s team? Perhaps: you suspect Arsene Wenger would give anything to have a similar chance.

But I think nothing other than a return to Champions League football will mark a proper upturn in fortunes for a club of Liverpool’s stature.

There are occasions, usually in performances against ‘better’ teams, that you’re encouraged to believe Liverpool have truly left behind the dismal days of the Roy Hodgson regime. Then you think of those awful draws at Anfield and the optimism of their fans rapidly evaporates.

No, Liverpool still have a distance to go. Players like Adam, Carroll, Downing and Henderson have a lot to prove the faith in them is justified.

And Suarez needs to affirm his excellence on the pitch is worth his controversy off it: maybe at Wembley.

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