There will be a sense of anti-climax to Liverpool’s crowning moment when it inevitably comes. The Anfield outfit have had to wait three decades to be champions again, for old glories to be restored, but now Jurgen Klopp has done such a good job of taking the club back to the top that the moment of euphoria will be tempered by just how easy it was.
Indeed, the Premier League might as well start tying the red ribbons on the trophy now such is the advantage Liverpool hold at the top of the table. After last night’s victory over Sheffield United, 19 wins from 20 games have put them out of sight to the point where not even a collapse, would threaten their supremacy.
Liverpool will be Premier League champions.
It’s as close to a certainty as anything can be in football.
An unbeaten Premier League season is well within Liverpool’s capabilities. The Reds only suffered one league defeat over 2019 and there is little sign that anyone in the division is capable of toppling Klopp’s side. They could quite comfortably emulate Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ of 2003/04.
A better target for Liverpool, though, would be to emulate Manchester United’s Treble of 1999. No English side since Sir Alex Ferguson’s legendary outfit have managed to pull off such an achievement.
There have even some great teams since then, of course – Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, Ferguson’s United of the late 2000s, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City – but none of them managed a clean sweep of the game’s biggest honours in the one season.
Liverpool are good enough to win a Treble of their own. The Premier League trophy is already within touching distance, effectively within their grasp, while the Champions League trophy is already in the cabinet. Of course, retaining it is regarded as tougher than winning it in the first place, but is there a stronger side in Europe right now than Liverpool?
Nothing has changed since last season. Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, the usual European superpowers, are all in a state of flux at present. Meanwhile, Man City will find it even more difficult to mask their defensive vulnerabilities in the latter rounds of football’s highest calibre competition. If Newcastle United, Wolves and Norwich City can expose them, there’s a good chance Europe’s elite will too.
Last season’s Champions League finalists, Tottenham Hotspur, are far from the team they were last season. Then there’s Paris Saint-Germain who certainly boast the talent to challenge, but still have a mental block in big games, particularly second legs. For all the millions that have been spent at the Parc des Princes, PSG have still to make it past the Champions League quarter finals.
Atletico Madrid won’t pose much of a problem in the last 16, such have been their struggles this season. Juventus may well be the toughest challenger out there for Liverpool, but even so the Reds appear to be the stronger of the two sides. They would fancy their chances against the Italian champions, a team centered on a fading Cristiano Ronaldo.
The FA Cup is something of a wildcard as a competition. Liverpool face Everton in this weekend’s third round and with Klopp expected to field a second side there is potential for an upset. But if the Reds take the FA Cup seriously there is no reason to believe they will be toppled. Nobody has been able to beat them in the Premier League this season, so why would it be any different in the FA Cup?
It’s completely understandable that Liverpool still view winning the Premier League title as their only objective for the season such has been their long, long wait to be English champions again. But an even greater achievement is within reach.
Great teams win titles. Legendary teams win Trebles.