Liverpool resume their Premier League campaign on Saturday with a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face leaders and reigning champions Manchester City, in what promises to be their toughest test of the season so far.
The Reds go into the game just one point off the summit and will go top if they can get the better of Pep Guardiola’s side, in turn also laying down a serious marker as to their title aspirations for 2023/24.
A look at sports betting in the UK with Betiton shows that these two are prime candidates to go on and lift the trophy next May, and LFC fans have plenty of reasons to believe that Jurgen Klopp’s side can triumph when all is said and done.
Liverpool have a 100% record on home soil this season not just in the Premier League, but across all competitions, emerging victorious in each of their nine games so far at Anfield in 2023/24.
Incredibly, barring a freak six-game losing streak during the behind-closed-doors campaign three years ago, the Reds have lost just once on home turf in the top flight since April 2017 – an extraordinary consistency which gives them a genuine chance of going all the way.
That is, if they can improve upon a patchy away record which hasn’t seen them win on the road in the Premier League since beating Wolves at Molineux in mid-September.
The Egyptian King
Whoever is responsible for rejecting Al-Ittihad’s £150m offer for Mo Salah in early September can’t be thanked enough.
The Egyptian has been consistently excellent for Liverpool ever since joining the Reds in 2017, but even by his standards he’s having an exceptional impact this term, with 12 goals and four assists in 17 matches.
A return of seven goals in his last five Premier League games highlights just how pivotal he is to Klopp’s side.
He’s our centre-half…
Virgil van Dijk was getting pelters left, right and centre throughout last season, but since the summer he’s looked a man reborn.
In a throwback to his 2018-2020 prime, he’s yet to be dribbled past once in the Premier League this term, despite playing for every minute aside from the portion of the win at Newcastle when he was sent off, and the subsequent game for which he was suspended.
The Dutchman is back to his imperious best, taking to the club captaincy like a duck to water. It’s no wonder Liverpool currently have the division’s joint-best defensive record with him marshalling operations.
Enviable squad depth
Players like Salah and Van Dijk are undoubtedly pivotal, but unlike in previous years, there’s a sense that Liverpool could change more than half of their starting line-up without greatly weakening it.
Think of the decisions Klopp could make if he’d a fully fit squad at his disposal. Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez or Jarell Quansah to partner the captain at centre-back? Darwin Nunez or Cody Gakpo at centre-forward? Luis Diaz or Diogo Jota on the left?
As for midfield, a trio of Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch and Dominik Szoboszlai could easily be rotated for Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, and that’s before we even mention Wataru Endo and Stefan Bajcetic.
Meanwhile, Caoimhin Kelleher would walk into most starting line-ups in the Premier League. He’s mightily unfortunate to have the world-class Alisson Becker in front of him at Anfield.
Liverpool have made a frustrating habit of conceding first in games this season, but they’ve also made a much more encouraging habit of recovering from adversity to come out on top, or at least salvage a point.
Go back to 2022/23 and, for much of the campaign, the Reds seemed to fold when falling behind, particularly if it were to an early goal. Contrast that to now, and the self-belief which has seen them score crucial late goals against the likes of Newcastle, Wolves and Luton.
There’s also been plenty of games where LFC have dominated with ease, with wins over Aston Villa, Toulouse, Nottingham Forest and Brentford displaying a conviction which was often lacking last season.