Having dropped just two points from their opening 16 matches, many have already handed the Premier League title to Liverpool. However, with 2015/16 winners Leicester City having won eight matches in a row in order to become their closest rivals, could former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers really come back to haunt the club?
The current standings points towards Liverpool winning the Premier League title for the first time in their history, with Jurgen Klopp’s side finding themselves eight points clear at the halfway mark in the season. However, with Liverpool facing a gruelling fixture list over the festive period, coupled with the fact that the Foxes are in such fantastic form, some at Anfield are likely to be questioning their title hopes. Leicester defeated Aston Villa 4-1 on the road over the weekend, with Rodgers’ side having the best defensive record in the top-flight, while their points tally is better than when they famously shocked the world in order to claim the title some three years ago.
Rodgers obviously marked the team as an underdog compared to the reds, however football fans would expect nothing less, with managers constantly playing down the chances of their own team. Rodgers was in charge at Anfield when Liverpool threw away a three-point lead at the top of the table with just three matches of the season remaining, while the Reds were 9 points clear of Manchester City in December 2018, only to ultimately see Pep Guardiola’s side go on to lift the trophy. As a result, it perhaps comes as little surprise that some on Merseyside are still wary of counting their chickens with so many matches still to come.
Liverpool are still involved in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Club World Cup, with Klopp’s side facing off against two matches in just 48 hours later this month, meaning that they must field entirely different squads. It is such factors that mean that those taking their chances with the bookies on Leicester doing the unbelievable may have an outside hope of coming up trumps come the end of the campaign, with the pressure only likely to grow as the season continues.
Liverpool travel to take on Leicester City on Boxing Day, with the Reds hoping to have their unbeaten run still intact by then. The Reds have not been beaten in their last 33 Premier League matches, with Klopp’s side having picked up all three points even when they have not been anywhere near their best over recent weeks, especially against Crystal Palace and Brighton. The clash at the King Power Stadium could well settle things once and for all, although the skill and determination shown by Leicester City so far this season shows that they are likely to be Liverpool’s closest rival until the final round of matches.