Martin O'Neill believes Liverpool are capable of rescuing a Champions League spot via a long unbeaten run during the second half of the campaign. Aston Villa boss O'Neill recalls how his side were in pole position to claim a Barclays Premier League top four place before Arsenal hit top form in the final third of the season to overhaul them.
Now a similar challenge is confronting the Reds, who visit fourth-placed Villa on Tuesday.
O'Neill, whose side won 3-1 at Anfield in August, said: "Liverpool have lost a few games more than they would have thought. Last season they were terrific.
"They went through the whole season and lost two games. After three games of this season, they had lost two games, but they are getting a bit of momentum again.
"It was a big win for them at Anfield against Wolves at the weekend. We've got to be right ourselves, but they are still in there.
"I heard Arsenal were supposed to be imploding last season, just about February time, when I think they were in the middle of a 22-game unbeaten run!
"Look at Arsenal now. Four weeks ago they were being written off for the title and now they are right bang in there. That's what can happen with the top clubs."
O'Neill is unconcerned at what reaction there will be to Villa's 3-0 defeat against Arsenal.
He said: "I'm not too bothered about who says what. I didn't get too carried away when we went to Old Trafford a couple of weeks ago and won there.
"It was three points, it was a boost to confidence and it was terrific. It changed a desperately poor record for us there as well, our first win there for 26 years.
"But equally any side can go to Arsenal and get beaten, so I wouldn't start to think the result was a major shock all over Europe.
"You can get beaten, but what we have to do is fight back against Liverpool and try to win."