Liverpool FC can compete for the title next season, but only if they finish in the top 4 at the end of this campaign, striker Daniel Sturridge has claimed.

The Merseyside club lie in the fifth spot at the moment, two points adrift of fourth placed Manchester United. The two sides will be embroiled in a crucial match on Sunday at Anfield.

Liverpool have been in fantastic form recently and there is talk of the side wanting to push even further up the table (than the fourth spot) but Sturridge insisted that the Reds must first focus on getting to that fourth spot and then see what lies beyond. The 25 year old also said that if his side could finish with a Champions League berth next season, they could compete for the title next season.

“It is important to secure fourth place and then from there look on,” he told the club’s official website.

“To finish in the top four is realistic for us, it’s what we’re aiming to do, and if we can get higher than that then perfect.

“But finishing in the top four is the objective and that’s the most important thing for us. It’s not about aiming for anything other than that now.

“If we can finish in the top four, then we can push on and challenge for the title again next season.

“I think top four is definitely possible for us.”

There was a time when the 18 time league winners looked to be seriously struggling and there were doubts of whether they could get into the top six. But since the 3-0 loss to Manchester United in December, they have seriously turned things around and Sturridge spoke on the matter.

“There has been perseverance and a lot of hard work done by the players to get to where we are,” he said.

“We’re in a good moment, so we’re just continuing to work hard each day out on the training field, putting in the work and hours.

“Then at the weekends, we’re going into the games with a confident mentality and a positive attitude.

“The boys have fought back and we’re where we are now, and that is testament to the hard work everyone has put in to get to where we are today.

“(The formation) is working. Everyone is defending very well, Si [Mignolet] is doing extremely well also. It’s great to see and long may it continue.”