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Liverpool’s seven obstacles to a quadruple

Robbie Earle and Tim Howard go to the tactics board to look ahead to Liverpool and Tottenham's pivotal meeting on Saturday.

Manchester City’s stunning disintegration late in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg against Real Madrid not only gave Mohamed Salah the final opponent he wanted, it made Liverpool’s path to an unlikely and historic quadruple feel not just reasonable but somewhat likely.

[ MORE: How to watch the Premier League in USA ]

That’s because on top of Liverpool winning six games, Man City’s emotional status following the death of its season dreams has been thrown into tumult. It’s not that Man City isn’t heavy favorites to win the rest of its games but that dozens of people, from the squad players to the higher-ups will be dealing with the effects of blowing a two-goal, 90th-minute lead to Madrid.

But where does the idea of City winning four-straight Premier League matches rank compared to each of Liverpool’s six matches left on their docket?

Liverpool’s quadruple dreams do not walk down an easy road, and they may well require all six to be wins. We know that two of them have to be victories, but are either the FA Cup Final versus Chelsea or the Champions League Final versus Real Madrid a bigger ask?

Ranking the difficulty of Liverpool’s seven quadruple obstacles

7. Liverpool vs Wolves, 11am ET May 22

It took Divock Origi stoppage-time magic to give the Reds three points at the Molineux, but surely Liverpool won’t faint on the doorstep should they reach May 22 with their quadruple dreams in tact.

6. Southampton vs Liverpool, 2:45pm ET May 17

The Reds smashed Saints at Anfield, but Southampton will be hoping the Reds are depleted following either an FA Cup celebration or quadruple-crushing failure.

5. Aston Villa vs Liverpool, 3pm ET Tuesday

It took a Mohamed Salah penalty to deny Steven Gerrard a point in these sides’ first encounter, and it was a 1-0 shrouded in controversy. It will also be the Reds’ third match in eight days.

4. FA Cup Final vs Chelsea, 11:45am ET May 14

The Reds drew Chelsea home and away this season, and Thomas Tuchel’s tournament-hardened men will have spent a month organizing their lineup around this match.

3. Liverpool vs Tottenham, 2:45pm ET Saturday

This one’s two-pronged: Spurs need this game and have been lying-In-wait all week while the Reds went to Spain for an intense midweek UCL semifinal second leg. The sides drew 2-2 in London in a controversial, goalkeeper-driven affair.

2. Champions League final versus Real Madrid in Paris, 3pm ET May 28

Man City and Liverpool may well be the two best teams in the world, but it’s arrogant to ignore what Real Madrid has done on any level (especially given Karim Benzema’s menace and Liverpool’s wobbles at the back).

Real has already won La Liga with a 15-point lead on the rest of the division, and has beaten Man City, PSG, and Chelsea over two legs in the Champions League.

That’s all without mentioning that Real Madrid eliminated Liverpool from the 2020-21 UCL and beat it in the 2017-18 final. These are different teams, yes, but Real is real.

1. Man City drops points

The idea that Manchester City would fail to beat Newcastle, Wolves, West Ham, or Aston Villa over the final two weeks seemed a lot less likely before the meltdown in Madrid, but it’s still the biggest obstacle to Liverpool’s quadruple.

Follow @NicholasMendola