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Villa tops Audi Player Index in win vs. Fire

Five Aside

Sturridge targets Champions League

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is not giving up on a top-four spot in the Premier League this season.

Sturridge, who joined Liverpool in a £12 million deal from Chelsea a month ago, has proved one of the signings of the winter transfer window with a series of impressive displays for Liverpool. He scored in his first three appearances for his new club and also netted against Manchester City in Sunday's 2-2 draw at the Etihad.

Liverpool have made giant strides over the past two months, suffering one defeat - at Manchester United - in their last eight games and climbing up to seventh in the Premier League table.

They sit nine points behind Tottenham Hotspur in the final Champions League berth though it is now over a year since they last beat a team from the top half of the table. But the draw at Man City, and the point gained at Arsenal in midweek, are further proof of progress.

"We are gutted with the draw [at Man City] because I felt we deserved to win," Sturridge told Liverpool's official website. "In our last two games we have played against two great clubs and deserved to win both of the games.

"We have got two good results in fairness even though in mine and the lads' hearts we know we should have had six points, but we didn't lose so hats off to the boys for the character they showed.

"We'll regroup and get ready for our next game against West Bromwich Albion, which is another massive game for us because they are also challenging for the top places.

"We are nine points off the top four so it's not a massive gap to try and recoup so hopefully we'll be able to do that - we believe we can.

"We have still got to play Chelsea and Tottenham at home and the other teams challenging have to play each other so hopefully we can win those home games and stamp our authority. When teams come to Anfield we need to show what we are all about."

Earlier this week, captain Steven Gerrard also insisted the club can qualify for the Champions League.


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