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Thiago Alcantara backs Liverpool for top four in ‘new era’ of Premier League after World Cup

Thiago Alcantara is confident that Liverpool will use the boost of a rare mid-season break to ensure they return to the Premier League top four.

The Reds endured a mixed start to the campaign that left them in sixth place prior to the World Cup-enforced hiatus, seven points shy of the Champions League places.

They resumed domestic action with a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City on Thursday, a result that saw their defence of the Carabao Cup ended before the quarterfinal stage.

But Thiago remains convinced that he and his teammates are well prepared to mount a Premier League recovery in the second half of the season.

MORE: Carabao Cup quarterfinal draw in full

Will Liverpool qualify for the Champions League?

Asked if Jurgen Klopp’s side believe they will reach the top four, Thiago replied: “For sure. We are confident to arrive as far as we can in all competitions.

“[The break] will benefit us, it’s new air in our lungs, so yeah. I think the players that came from the World Cup will be a bit tired but at the same time they have more rhythm. 

“But I think it’s a new era, a new moment for all of us. It never happened that the World Cup was in the middle of the season. We just have to learn and improve with that.”

MORE: Watch every Premier League match live with fuboTV in Canada

Why did Liverpool start the 2022/23 season badly?

Coming off the back of a season that saw them come within a whisker of winning four trophies, Liverpool’s poor start to this campaign came as something of a shock.

On the reasons behind that, Thiago added: “Well, the [exertions of the] season before, it was a World Cup in December, so it’s tricky to say what happened in the first half of the season. We just want to do it better and we will.

“For sure, we all want to be better than the first half of the season — we work for it. I think today we did a high performance, physically as well. We’re just ready for the next part of the season.”

If there is one upside to Liverpool’s early exit from the Carabao Cup, it is that they can fully focus on correcting their poor Premier League record.

But, in the aftermath of defeat to City, Thiago was struggling to grasp that positive and said: “No, we don’t give away any cup, any trophy, any league.

“We just want to keep going, we wanted to win this game to be alive in this competition, but now we move forward in the other three we have.

“It’s always tough to play against City. We know when we come here to play against them there is a different face of the game, we have to defend, we have to go on counterattacks and create chances on the counter.

“I think it was an equal game and, yeah, [a good] performance.”

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