Liverpool ended last season on a high, winning the UEFA Champions League for the 6th time. However, this was a very sweet consolation prize after losing the Premier League title to Manchester City on what was the smallest of margins.
Liverpool finished the 2018-19 season with 97 points, just one behind Manchester City. In almost any other year, 97 points would have been enough for the reds to have won the title, and it would have ended their 30-year drought of top-flight domestic league wins.
It continued a string of “almost wins”, after reaching the final of the Champions League in the 2017-18 season, only to be beaten by Real Madrid 3-1.
Come Back Stronger
After almost tasting victory last season, Liverpool have started this year with an almost perfect record. Heading into the New Year, they have won 17 of their 18 games, with their only non-win being a draw to Manchester United early in the season.
After their Boxing Day clash with title rivals Leicester City, where they thrashed the 2015-16 Premier League winners 4-0, Liverpool will take on Wolves. The reds are one of the top teams for this game according to the major oddsmakers.
This Boxing Day dominance by Liverpool means they are now 13 points clear of Leicester and 14 points clear of Manchester City in the Premier League table. This continues an unbeaten run of Premier League games that currently sits at 35.
Liverpool to Lose?
After the victory against Leicester, many football pundits are calling Liverpool as the Premier League title winners already. SkyBet now even has Liverpool’s odds of winning the league at 1/9, compared to Manchester City’s odds of 7/1 and Leicester’s 80/1.
Understandably, Liverpool are taking a more reserved approach with the players and the team’s manager, Jurgen Klopp, all giving the standard remarks: “We’re taking nothing for granted,” “There is a long way to go,” “The race isn’t over yet”.
Mathematically of course, this is true. With 20 games left, Liverpool still need to win a considerable number of them to make sure they’re picking up the silverware in May. However, their dominance in games against top teams like Manchester City and Leicester shows that they are a team that is at the peak of its performance.
To everyone, it seems Liverpool need to seriously drop the metaphorical ball for them to not win this season. The BBC’s Chief Football Writer, Phil McNulty, has even gone as far to say that Liverpool are “Premier League champions-elect”.
More Than 100 Points?
In the 2017-18 season, Manchester City became the first Premier League team to score 100 points in a single season. A feat that led many pundits to call them the “best team in the Premier League era”. However, there is a possibility that Liverpool could eclipse this figure.
Sitting on 52 points after their Boxing Day game, there are 20 more fixtures for the reds to play. This means a win in all games would cause Liverpool to end the season on 112 points, leaving City’s 100 in the shadows.
Liverpool could still beat the record by winning 16 games, drawing 1 and losing 3.
Not only do Liverpool have an opportunity to finally end their domestic title drought but they stand a chance of doing it in style, with a treble. They are looking strong to win the Champions League again this season, as well as being the second favourite to win the FA Cup.
They are no longer in contention for the Carabao Cup after a 5-0 defeat against Aston Villa, although Liverpool’s lineup was its youngest ever. However, they did win the FIFA Club World Cup in December, beating Flamengo 1-0, (a trophy that was rubbished by many of Liverpool’s rivals).
Liverpool are looking the strongest they have done since their dominance in the 1980s. It seems only a matter of time before they pick up the Premier League and, after a painfully close finish in 2018-19, it looks like they may have finally cracked it in 2019-20.