Jamie Carragher has cited one possible difference about the Premier League this season which may boost Liverpool’s hopes of challenging for the title.
The Reds go into this weekend’s fixtures top of the table with 37 points from 16 matches, one clear of Arsenal, two ahead of Aston Villa, and four above Manchester City and – following last night’s result – Tottenham.
Speaking on Sky Sports on Friday evening, the 45-year-old was asked by Gary Neville if LFC ‘can’ win the league, with the Bootle native replying: “We can. I’m yet to be fully convinced that what Liverpool have done in their first 16 games is a title-winning team, but I just think the last four or five years, what Liverpool and Man City have done, we all think now that’s what title-winning teams do. They win almost every game.
“Maybe this season might not be like that, and I think it’d be great for the Premier League. I look at Arsenal and I’m still not quite sure. City don’t look themselves, so maybe we might get a title winner who’s getting mid-80 points rather than the mid-90 points that we’ve had in the past.
“I think that’d be great for the league but this next week is huge for Liverpool with three home games. If they can win all three, they’re in a great position.”
Liverpool are currently top with an average of 2.31 points per game – extrapolated over a full campaign, that’d amount to 88 points.
That tally would only have been enough to win the Premier League in one of the past seven years (City finished first with 86 in 2020/21), and the Reds came second with points tallies of 92 a couple of seasons ago and a remarkable 97 in 2018/19.
The maths would suggest that, unlike in previous campaigns during the Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola age, a team won’t have to crack the 90-point barrier to become champions.
The greater competitiveness theoretically makes it slightly easier for Liverpool to prevail by the end of the campaign, although the same can also be said for everyone else in the title race. Also, City have shown that they tend to hit the turbo from January onwards, so the current average mightn’t be enough to win it out.
For now, all the Reds can do is keep taking care of their own business week by week and see where it takes them.