The year is 2019, which will mark the 29th year since Liverpool won their last and 16th Premier League title, and while they came close to repeating their success a few times since 1989/90 season, they never managed to stand at the top of the league again. This year, Liverpool are once again in a great spot to fight for the title, but will they manage to hold on to the 1st spot for the remainder of the season or will they eventually loose yet another title race?
It’s the start of February and the Premier League is in its 25th round, which ultimately means we are slowly but surely closing to an end of the season.
As we go from January to February, the title race becomes much more interesting. The shift from January to February has become a time when we divide the teams into those who will fight for the title and those, who will have another chance next year. While the last time we saw a real nail-biting end of the season was 7 years ago, we can never say for sure what is waiting for us in May. This time last season we saw Manchester United losing to Newcastle and Tottenham, while Manchester City won 5/6 matches, which only cemented their 1st place, which ultimately got them the title. As for this season… well it’s interesting as usual.
This season we have got 3 teams at the top separated by 5 points. We already knew this year will bring a tight title race, but the results that we saw at the end of January made it that much more interesting. The 24th round of Premier League saw the leading Liverpool playing a draw against Leicester (1:1) which was a disappointing result for the Reds, who are well aware Manchester City are only a few points behind them and a simple mistake just might cost them the win. However, while Liverpool underperformed against Leicester, they can be happy, Manchester City failed to win against Newcastle (2:1). A loss against Newcastle is a huge surprise from Manchester City who were seemingly unstoppable only a couple of months ago but were now defeated by a team that is sitting at the bottom part of the league. With mistakes from both Liverpool and Manchester City, we saw Tottenham climbing to the 2nd spot with 57 points, which puts them 1 point above Manchester City and 4 below Liverpool. But keep in mind, Tottenham has played 1 game more than Liverpool and Manchester City, so we will not be focusing on them as Manchester City and Liverpool are as of now the only 2 real contenders for the title.
While we can surely expect an interesting finish of the season, it will really all come down to how well will Liverpool play. The thought of them losing the lead in the Premier League seems like something that can easily happen at a first glance, but keep in mind; They are now 5 points ahead of Manchester City, which ultimately means, they will need to lose at least 2 games from now to mid-May to lose the top spot. When we put it this way, the chances of Liverpool to lose the title race become much slimmer. We also must mention that Liverpool played exceptionally well against mid-table teams this season. Yes, they have played a draw against Leicester at home on January 30th, but it was the first time Liverpool dropped points against a team outside the top 6 since April and while it was a disappointing draw, I do not expect them to repeat the mistake.
All in all, we are in for an interesting couple of days ahead of us, which will prove to be highly important for both Liverpool and Manchester City. Liverpool will face off against West Ham on Monday and Bournemouth on Saturday after that they will enjoy a 15-day break before playing against Manchester United. Manchester City on the other side will face off against Arsenal on Sunday, Everton on Wednesday and Chelsea on Sunday before heading into a 2-week break.
In my opinion, we just might be looking at the best Liverpool squad they had in a while and with Jürgen Klopp as their coach, they have been performing exceptionally well. They have got a potent attack (55 goals) and a good defence, which only let in 14 goals in 24 games. But nothing is yet set in stone. Liverpool still have 14 opponents to play against and most importantly, they need to fight against the history, which was not too kind to them for the past 29 years.