We are only eight rounds into 2019/20 season of Premier League, yet there is already a massive gap between last year’s runners-up Liverpool and the rest of the league, who seemingly struggle to keep up with the tempo set by the Klopp’s side, who are now sitting on the top of EPL with a perfect 8-0-0 record next to their name.
A close and exciting battle between Leicester and Liverpool took place on Saturday, where Liverpool can count themselves lucky for the late penalty, which they used to raise above the Foxes (2:1). With that, the Reds are now eight points clear of Manchester City, who kneeled down to Wolves (0:2) on Sunday, which marked their second defeat of the season and are now holding onto a 5-1-2 record and 16 points. Seeing how Liverpool amassed a massive lead barely eight rounds into 2019/20 EPL season, it’s only fair to start speculating whether this might be the season when Liverpool claim their 19th league title. And while the season is still very young and a lot can change, it’s safe to say the EPL title is Liverpool’s to lose. And it will be a very painful one if they end up losing it.
Liverpool have claimed their sixth UCL title last season after a 14-year-long drought they had to endure on the European stage. While a massive achievement for the club and English football as a whole, it would be safe to say Liverpool fans rank the EPL title far higher compared to UCL glory. And it’s easy to see why. Liverpool last emerged as English champions in 1989/90 season, meaning the prestigious title has been avoiding them for 30 long years. That, however, could have changed the last term, when Liverpool came close to reclaiming the title, however, they had to ultimately admit defeat to Manchester City, who took full advantage of Liverpool’s mishaps, took the lead in 29th round, and never looked back. It’s also worth noting Liverpool held onto a seven-point lead ahead of City in round 20 last term, yet still failed to keep themselves above Guardiola’s side. So what does that mean for Liverpool’s eight-point lead they have now? On the one hand, it means everything, and on the other it means nothing.
Manchester City have to improve their performance
Man City, the reigning EPL champions have not looked too sharp this season, as they already slipped up twice, including the remarkable defeat against Norwich the Sky Blues won’t forget easily. On top of that, the squad has been hampered by injuries in defence, where they do come off a bit shaky even when in full strength.
That being said, Man City are also an exceptionally strong team, seeing how they have set a new record for points in one season in 2018, and also became the first team in the last decade to win the EPL twice in a row. Why is that important? Guardiola still has all the key players that achieved that feat at his disposal. That being said, they have not lived up to the expectations just yet, meaning the 2019/20 EPL title is not Man City’s to win, but as we have stated, it’s Liverpool’s to lose.
At the end of the day, all Liverpool can do is maintain their pace, which, just to remind everyone, is currently at 17 straight EPL games won, including 11 from last season. That also means they are just one shy of reaching Man City’s EPL record of 18 straight wins, which the Sky Blues held between August-December 2017. Keeping up the perfect pace will, however, be easier said than done for Klopp’s side who already lost their star goalkeeper Alisson, and with the immense tempo set on the players, it’s only a matter of time before one of the remaining key players gets side-lined due to an injury. With that in mind, it would be wise for Liverpool to not toy with their fate and maybe they should rethink if the domestic cups deserve attention over UCL and EPL campaigns.
The gruelling schedule for Liverpool
Another thing that could and most likely will work against Liverpool and their urge to keep up with the tempo they have set on themselves is the gruelling schedule ahead of them. As soon as the EPL returns back to our screens, Liverpool will take a visit to Old Trafford in round nine, followed by a clash with Tottenham in round 10, Aston Villa in 11th, Man City in 12th and Crystal Palace in round 13. If Klopp’s men manage to push through and win all the mentioned fixtures, they will be well on their way to the EPL title, however, even then, we can’t disregard their UCL duties that await them, which will sooner or later take a toll on the players, who will slowly but surely start to feel the fatigue set in.
So if we return back and answer the most important question: “Can Liverpool win the 2019/20 instalment of English Premier League?”, we can give the same answer as we would in ahead of the 38th round of last year’s EPL. They can. There is no denying Klopp has the needed quality at his disposal to win the English title. That being said, there are a lot of factors that go into winning the league, and seeing how we are barely eight rounds into the season, there are also many obstacles Liverpool will have to jump over before they can rest assured the title is theirs. Nonetheless, with an impressive eight-point lead the Reds have accumulated so far, it’s easy to see Liverpool fans are positive about their club’s chances to win, and they have all the right to look into the future with confidence.