Ahead of Thursday night's clash against Chelsea, former Arsenal attacker Merson has branded the fixture a "big game" for both clubs but feels that more pressure is on Liverpool to claim the three points.
"Liverpool and Chelsea and teams like that will be spending money on the strength of expecting that money to be coming in next season, Champions League money. That's why it's a big game - I don't think either team can afford to lose it," Merson told Sky Sports News.
"I can't explain how big it would be if Liverpool ended up not getting in the top four, it's massive. Massive. Liverpool can't not be in the Champions League.
"This Liverpool team of the last two years have been, bar the last three months, unbelievable. To be out of the top four would be unthinkable. Unthinkable. How are you going to get players to Liverpool now if they're not going to be in the Champions League? They need to get in the top four, 100%."
Victory for Liverpool would see them climb above both Chelsea and West Ham United into the top four, although the Hammers will have a game in hand, while a win for Thomas Tuchel's side would see them move four points clear of the Reds.