The place would possibly Liverpool lose floor within the Premier League title race?


Liverpool has received three main European trophies through the Premier League period, however a home title has to date eluded them. They got here inside touching distance of profitable the league final season, in 2014 underneath Brendan Rodgers, and in 2009 when Fernando Torres was in his prime, nevertheless it has been 30 years since a title-celebrating bus parade was required on Merseyside. 

However in 2019-20, the Premier League seems to be Liverpool’s to lose. 

With 12 matches performed, Jurgen Klopp’s facet are undefeated and eight factors clear atop the desk. Manchester Metropolis, who took the title race to the ultimate day final season, are 9 factors behind within the rear view mirror. 

Not solely do Liverpool boast arguably one of the best attacking trident in Europe, however they’ve fastened the principle downside that has been maintaining them from glory: the protection. They undoubtedly have the league’s greatest fullbacks (who’re additionally two of the league’s greatest playmakers) and so they have the greatest heart again on the earth

Jurgen Klopp, Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool have a healthy advantage atop the Premier League right now, but where might they slip up? (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp, Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool have a wholesome benefit atop the Premier League proper now, however the place would possibly they slip up? (Picture by Alex Livesey/Getty Photos)

Final weekend, Liverpool beat the incumbent champions 3-1 on the Anfield fortress the place they’re unbeaten in 44 dwelling league video games. And it’s not the one benefit Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have over Pep Guardiola’s males; Liverpool have already confronted all their “Huge Six” rivals, plus second-place interloper Leicester. By comparability, Metropolis have solely met Liverpool and an out-of-sorts Tottenham facet to date. 

Frankly, if Liverpool don’t win the Premier League this season, it appears that evidently they by no means will

However regardless of their enviable place, it will be naive to recommend the title race is over, particularly after Liverpool failed to carry the same benefit final time period. If there may be one staff on the earth who can shut a nine-point hole with 26 video games remaining, it’s Pep’s Manchester Metropolis.

So if Liverpool’s lead had been to be eroded this season, the place would the slips more than likely occur?

The plain reply is through the hectic vacation schedule, the place the Premier League yearly crams fixtures round Thanksgiving, Christmas and New 12 months’s. Not like their opponents, Liverpool are obliged to compete in an additional competitors subsequent month: the Membership World Cup, which can happen 13 hours, 4,400 miles and three time zones away in Qatar. 

Not solely have the Reds needed to rearrange an away journey to West Ham, however they’re scheduled to play within the League Cup in opposition to Aston Villa the day earlier than their first Membership World Cup match. (Not one of the touring gamers will probably be concerned within the League Cup match, however this fixture will add to the fatigue of a squad that arguably lacks depth.)

Between November 23 and the weekend of January 5, Liverpool will play 13 video games in 40 days throughout 5 competitions. That averages out to a sport each three days. Over a interval of practically a month and a half. 

On Boxing Day, Liverpool face a tough journey to Leicester — who haven’t any European competitions to fret about, and who had been unlucky to depart Anfield with none factors in October. That can come simply days after the Membership World Cup ultimate, and there will probably be solely two days of relaxation earlier than Wolves come to Anfield. Three days later, the Reds host a resilient Sheffield United, who nearly plundered a degree at Bramall Lane in September. 

These are precisely the sort of taxing video games the place Liverpool might drop factors. Bear in mind: It’s precisely inside this time period {that a} seemingly unbeatable Manchester Metropolis suffered three of their 4 league defeats final season.

Pep Guardiola (right), Sergio Aguero and Manchester City have their eyes on chasing down Liverpool again. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pep Guardiola (proper), Sergio Aguero and Manchester Metropolis have their eyes on chasing down Liverpool once more. (Picture by Peter Byrne/PA Photos through Getty Photos)

If the Reds escape the festive season with their lead intact, there are nonetheless loads of hazards that lay forward. Within the two weeks that observe, they have to journey away to Tottenham after which host a Manchester United facet who discovered learn how to shut down their marauding fullbacks within the earlier assembly. 

Two Merseyside derbies additionally lay forward in opposition to Everton, whereas the end-of-season run-in appears notably treacherous. Liverpool should go to Man Metropolis initially of April, figuring out that they’ve misplaced their final two league journeys to the Etihad (together with a 5-0 rollicking in 2017).

If that match doesn’t present a factors swing in Metropolis’s favor, then Liverpool’s ultimate three matches of the season could achieve this. The Reds conclude by visiting Arsenal, internet hosting Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and visiting a Newcastle facet who might have factors to keep away from relegation. 

In some unspecified time in the future on this run-in, Liverpool may also need to squeeze within the rearranged journey to West Ham, the place they solely managed a draw final season. Couple that with one other probably deep Champions League run, and Liverpool can have their work lower out for them when the end line approaches.

In fact, Klopp’s Reds are sensible, and so they could shock us all with an “Invincibles” undefeated season. However all indicators recommend they won’t keep their livid tempo from now till Might. Not solely have they got extreme fixtures to fret about, but additionally the looming hazard of damage to a squad with restricted depth. 

Might Liverpool maintain going if Virgil van Dijk was out of motion for a sustained interval? (Metropolis have already proven this season how damaging it’s to be with out your first-choice heart again.) Are the deputies for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson ok? Can the complete first-choice XI keep match for a season that will characteristic over 60 video games? Title rivals Man Metropolis live in a world of damage woes proper now; Liverpool’s should lay forward. 

League dominance could appear simple to the Reds proper now, however historical past tells us there may be each motive to imagine this title race will go proper right down to the wire. 

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