By Liverpool’s Last match Performance, can they really win the League?
They are one of the most attack-minded teams in the league. Their manager is charismatic, entertaining and likable. They’ve been at the top of the EPL table since Christmas. But just when they seemed to be running away with the league title, they drew with Westham.
A few days later, Manchester City has already closed the gap and is at the top of the table. Do Liverpool have shot at the EPL trophy anymore? More importantly, do they have what it takes to keep up with the pressure from City and Spurs and win the title?
The Reds have a chance to go back to the top should they beat tenth placed Bournemouth at home this Saturday. After that, the next EPL match will be against Man United on the 24th. Depending on the outcome of that game, Liverpool may go ahead and win the title or risk losing it to City.
They will also get a relief should City lose points to Chelsea this Saturday. Liverpool are one match behind City, meaning they will go three points clear at the top by beating Bournemouth. City will also have to beat Man United, Tottenham and Leicester City to keep up with their rivals. City also faces Crystal Palace again after losing to them at the Etihad last December.
Liverpool’s oncoming fixtures aren’t easy as well. They have a match against Man United, a derby with Everton, and games against Liverpool and Chelsea. Beating Newcastle, who recently upset City- -and Wolves, a top seven team this season, will be other tests before the league closes.
Form and Injuries
Klopp was furious after the draw with Westham for obvious reasons. Just one week ago, his team was five points clear. A week later, they’re second on the logs and could go three points behind if they do not beat Bournemouth.
Luckily, Liverpool have few injuries. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been out for a while with a knee injury and isn’t expected to return until Match. Alexander Arnold will be back mid-month and so will Dejan Lovren. The only player scheduled to remain sidelined for long is Joe Gomez who could be out until April.
Injuries aside, Liverpool seems to be losing its form. A draw at Westham, a draw at Leicester and only one goal against Brighton doesn’t spell great form. Their last easy win was against Arsenal in late December. This year, they’ve only won twice in six games.
By contrast, City have won ten out of a possible eleven games. If they are to win the league, Liverpool needs to summon the great form that saw them win back-to-back matches and go 20 games unbeaten late last year. Their squad hasn’t changed and they look menacing as ever. They simply need to get their form back.
Beating Small Teams No Longer a Problem
Judging by their position this season, Liverpool have learned to beat small EPL teams. Beating United, Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea has never been a problem. Teams like Bournemouth, Brighton, and Huddlesfield have, however, been the reds problem for more than five years.
Things are different this season. Liverpool’s only league defeat came against Man City at the beginning of the year. Their five draws come from the top six (Chelsea and Arsenal) and mid-table teams like Leicester and Westham.
Speaking of mid-table teams, the reds have dates against Everton, Watford, Wolves, and Newcastle. The last derby against Everton ended in a narrow 1-0 win. They also had comfortable wins over all the teams mentioned above. They must repeat the same success to foster their title hopes.
The Momentum is fading
While the title chase is still a three-way chase, the Reds’ momentum is waning. They have only won twice in the EPL since losing to City. The recent draws to Leicester and Westham further reduced their momentum at the top.
Lack of momentum means the players may start to lose confidence in their abilities. Once things become psychological and hope for a title since 1990 begins to decline, things could be all over by March.
Man City’s momentum is back and they are strongly chasing for the title. Tipsters from SBO are having a field day predicting their fixtures now that they are back to winning ways. There are no signs that the defending champions could fall back from the title race if they win in their matchups against the top six. As for Liverpool, nothing is guaranteed from now on. With no momentum and consistency, something big has to happen for them to win the title.
UEFA Competitions Effect
Liverpool traded their league title hopes last season to chase a UEFA berth. They reached the finals but couldn’t beat Real Madrid. This season, the team is still in both competitions. The same applies to Man City and Tottenham. How the three teams do in the Champions League a fortnight from now may determine who lifts the EPL title.
If they are bundled out of the competition by Bayern Munich, Liverpool can invest all their time in winning the EPL. They are already out of the FA and the Carabao Cup. Man City, by contrast, have games in all of the competitions. That means they have more games and have a higher risk of losing players to injuries also.
The best chance of the Reds winning the title will come if they give up their UEFA dreams this season. That way, they will be able to handle their form problems and work a way around winning again. Unfortunately, it won’t guarantee them anything.
City have found a way of winning games in multiple competitions. They could continue doing well in the Champions League and the FA and still have a shot at the title.
A few weeks ago, Liverpool looked to be the only serious contender for the EPL title. But after their poor form and inconsistencies in 2019, things have changed. If their last match against Westham is anything to go by, the reds aren’t the only team capable of winning the league.
Man City are back into the title race. And their chances of winning the league are as high as of those Liverpool. Yet, only time will tell who ultimately wins.