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May 8, 2014

Reds pin hopes on Carroll and Downing

ESPN FC's Craig Burley discusses Manchester City and the Premier League title.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is holding out hope that West Ham duo Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing can play a part in helping their former club win the title.

Usher: Talk of 'collapse' misguided
Cox: Lack of leadership in defence

The Reds had been favourites for the Premier League after their 3-2 victory over Manchester City last month, but a 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea followed by the late collapse in Monday's 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace leaves them relying on West Ham to beat Manuel Pellegrini's men on the final day.

Brendan Rodgers -- who said Liverpool's hopes were all but over after the draw at Palace -- maintains the Reds will still be "fighting for their lives" against Newcastle at Anfield on Sunday, and Lucas is looking to former teammates Carroll and Downing to spring a shock at the Etihad Stadium.

"We will be in touch with them before Sunday, of course," Lucas told newspapers including The Guardian. "They have been here with us, they have worked with us and I'm sure they will do their best to get points for West Ham first of all and if they can help us too."

A West Ham draw could have been sufficient had Liverpool held onto their three-goal lead at Palace, and Lucas acknowledged the Reds had themselves to blame for their current predicament.

"It's not in our hands anymore," he said. "Against Crystal Palace we just switched off for eight or nine minutes and paid the price.

"It doesn't matter where you play or against which team you play, you have to make sure the 90 minutes is full of concentration but [Palace] is something that is hard to explain why it happened.

"I think you can still see it on the faces of the players. The dressing room after the game was very quiet, probably the quietest I have ever experienced since I came here but it's not the end of the season as we still have Newcastle to play.

"It is quite hard for City to drop points but we still have to believe. We know it is not in our hands anymore but overall I think it has been a fantastic season for us. Probably people wouldn't expect us to achieve what we achieved and the way we achieved it, but now we move on and see what will happen."

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