Could this seriously be Liverpool’s year?
On Sunday afternoon the Reds swept effortlessly past Watford, beating them 6-1 at Anfield, and playing the kind of delightful attacking football that would make a neutral fan purr. With Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal all dropping points at the weekend, Jurgen Klopp’s men have jumped to the top of the table on 26 points – a point clear of Pep Guardiola’s men.
It has also seen a shift in the betting, with Liverpool now 11/4 to win the title – the shortest price they have been all season. Before a ball was kicked the Reds were a 15/2 shot, and they were as big as 14/1 at the start of September after taking just four points from their opening three games. But since a shock defeat away to Burnley in August, it’s been nothing but plain sailing for the Kop faithful.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have won seven and drawn two since the defeat away to Sean Dyche’s side, and it is the quality of opposition that would give most Liverpool fans belief. The Reds have beaten Arsenal and Chelsea away already this year, they’ve hammered Leicester at Anfield, and taken a point off both Manchester United and Tottenham. Manchester City might be favourites in the betting, but Pep Guardiola’s men have only faced one top five side this season (losing 2-0 at White Hart Lane) – six of the Citizen’s seven wins have come against teams in the bottom half of the table.
So Liverpool have had a tougher opening third of the season in terms of opposition, they don’t have the distraction of Champions League football, nor the inconvenience of the Europa League, plus they are absolutely flying in front of goal. The Reds have averaged 2.64 goals a game this season, with Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all red-hot in the scoring stakes. Manchester City have only won one of their last five league games, Tottenham haven’t won in seven in all competitions, while we’re all ready and waiting for Arsenal’s inevitable collapse.
Chelsea may look like a serious threat, but can Liverpool fans genuinely start believing yet?