Rush predicts one final twist
It ain't over till it's over.
Liverpool legend Ian Rush is refusing to give up on the hope that Brendan Rodgers' men can end the club's 24-year wait for domestic glory.
Manchester City returned to the top of the table on Wednesday with their 4-0 win over Aston Villa and, given their superior goal difference, a draw against West Ham tomorrow is likely to be enough for them to clinch a second title in three years.
But Rush has experienced one of the most famous and dramatic final days in English football history and has learnt never to write off the team in second place.
Liverpool only needed to avoid defeat by more than one goal against Arsenal at the end of the 1988-1989 campaign to win the league title, but the unfancied Gunners stunned the Anfield faithful with a 2-0 win, courtesy of Michael Thomas' injury-time strike to take the championship on goals scored.
The heartbreaking night has taught scoring great Rush to expect the unexpected when title races go down to the wire and he remains upbeat about the Reds defying the odds tomorrow.
"It is never over until the fat lady sings," Rush told Liverpool Echo.
"Sometimes, when you're simply hanging on and not needing a win on the final day, then it can be dangerous.
"If we had needed to beat Arsenal on the final day of the season in '89, then we would've done.
"The same applies to Man City going into Sunday.
"But the most important thing for Liverpool is to beat Newcastle United.
"If City win the game, then it just wasn't to be. But if they don't and Liverpool fail to beat Newcastle, then it would be terrible.
"The only thing Liverpool have to concentrate on tomorrow is getting three points and finishing on 84 points for the season.
"Stranger things have happened and Arsenal capitalised on our mistakes. I have a sneaky feeling that the league will be won on 84 points. There will be another twist and turn.
"I fully feel that will happen but Liverpool have got to be in the position to capitalise on any slip-up.
"So Liverpool need to focus on getting three points in the bag and waiting to see what happens at City.
"You just never know."
Rush could empathise with a distraught Luis Suarez who broke down in tears on Monday after Liverpool had squandered a three-goal lead at Crystal Palace.
Whether the Reds win the title or not, Rush feels that it is absolutely crucial the 31-goal Uruguayan remains at the club for next season as they return to the Champions League.
"Whether Liverpool win the league or finish third, there will be Champions League football back next season," Rush said.
"The club will look to improve the squad for next season and you certainly won't be improving it if Suarez is not there.
"It was 100 per cent correct that he has picked up all of these awards. He was unlucky last season that Gareth Bale had played so well.
"And as much as some people in football don't like him, they can't say he hasn't been entertaining this season. Luis has been absolutely fantastic." - Wire Services.