Brendan Rodgers deserves credit for Liverpool's title challenge as they are on course to win 'in the right way', says Michael Owen

Owen was ridiculed at the start of the season for claiming the Reds would finish fourth but they are three matches away from the end of the season and Premier League success

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen believes his old club are on course to win the title the "right way" but thinks they will struggle to enjoy the sustained domination of previous generations.

The Reds are currently five points clear of Sunday's visitors Chelsea with three matches to play and six in front of third-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

They are the Premier League's top scorers with 96 goals, five in front of City, and Owen said the brand of football they had played this season had allowed them to make a huge leap forward from also-rans last year.

"It is amazing the transformation from last season. From seventh last season Brendan Rodgers has done an outstanding job," said the former England international.

"I don't think many teams will come from seventh to win it, certainly in such a competitive league as the Premier League.


"Huge credit to him (Rodgers) and the rest of the team, which has some outstanding players but have been guided superbly by the manager.

"I think he has surprised everyone. At the start of the season I tipped Liverpool to come fourth and I was accused of being drunk - and that was one of the more polite things said to me.

"No-one had them to win the league. They were long odds against to do it and he has manufactured an unbelievable attacking team that has pace all over it, goals all over it.

"That is the pleasing thing if Liverpool go on to win the league; it has been done in the right way as they have blitzed a lot of teams and outscored them, particularly at Anfield.

"It has been a great season to watch."

Read more: Sturridge set to play against Chelsea
Suarez joins the 30 club
Liverpool announce plans to redevelop Anfield

It is 24 years since Liverpool won the last of their 18 titles, which signalled the end of almost three decades of unparalleled success.

Owen does not believe that situation will occur again when one side dominates all before them.

"It is obviously really exciting: a couple more good results and Liverpool will be crowned champions," he added.

"First things first is for Liverpool to win the league but then the season starts afresh in August and that is the key, to get a sustained period like we have seen with Liverpool a few decades ago.

"Sustained dominance is very difficult in this day and age, with the money around at other clubs, but just to be in that top echelon of European football again is great to see."

Liverpool are set to receive a boost for the crunch clash with Chelsea, where victory would rule Jose Mourinho's side out of the title race, as striker Daniel Sturridge is expected to be fit.

The England forward missed last weekend's win at Norwich - Liverpool's 11th in succession - with a hamstring problem but looks set to return at Anfield on Sunday.