Liverpool hero Ray Houghton believes that his old club will make in two top four finishes on the spin this season despite losing Luis Suarez.

The Reds secured a long awaited return to European football’s top table last term as they finished second after mounting a shock title push.

Although dreams of a first ever Premier League crown were crushed late on at Anfield, few have denied that 2013/14 was a success on the red half of Merseyside as the club made sure that the new season will be the first one since 2009/10 that they feature in the Champions League.

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Since then they’ve lost talismanic striker Suarez – who hit 31 league goals during the last campaign – but almost £100m has been reinvested in top talent such as Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana.

Some have suggested that with Manchester United looking to bounce back Liverpool may fall out of the top four, but Houghton has faith in his old club:

“Yes, for me they will (finish in the top four).” He told talkSPORT.

“They may be below Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Man United in the bookies’ eyes, but I don’t see it that way at all.

“They’ve got a much stronger squad than last season. Sure, they’re just missing a key ingredient in Luis Suarez, but they’ll still be very competitive.

“I think it’ll be less about how many goals Liverpool can score – we all know what the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert can do – and more about how they can defend over the course of 38 games.

“Liverpool have bought well this summer, the signing of centre-back Dejan Lovren from Southampton in particular, and they needed to because they need more depth for the Champions League.

“But the bottom line is they need to defend better, that’s where they were found out last season.”

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