Can Liverpool Stop Manchester City From Winning Four Consecutive Premier League Titles?

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Only a third of the 2023/24 Premier League season remains, and Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool find themselves in the envious position of topping the table and keeping the chasing pack at bay.

The Reds have sat proudly atop the Premier League standings for the past six gameweeks and, all being well, should still be the team to catch once this coming weekend’s fixtures are done and dusted. Nobody ever complains about being top of the league, but can LFC hold off Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City and still be in first place on May 19?

Let’s be honest; last season was dreadful for Liverpool supporters. After finishing second to the Cityzens with 92 points, winning the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and being runners-up in the Champions League in 2021/22, nobody could have predicted what happened during the subsequent campaign.

Every sportsbook soccer site had the Reds challenging City for the title, but Klopp’s men spent most of the Premier League campaign languishing towards the lower end of the top half of the table, ultimately finishing fifth after winning seven of their final ten games.

Liverpool were uncharacteristically inconsistent during the first 20 or so games last term, often caused by the usually solid midfield being outplayed and outfought. The manager duly returned to the drawing board and overhauled arguably the most important part of the pitch.

READ MORE: Darren Bent: ‘Something might have to give’ for injury-plagued Liverpool in quadruple pursuit

Incomings and Outgoings

Out went long-term servant and veteran James Milner. Captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho left for mega-contracts in Saudi Arabia, and Naby Keita, a player for whom every Red had high hopes but it just didn’t work out, left on a free transfer.

Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endo, Ryan Gravenberch and Dominik Szoboszlai replaced them. All four summer signings have hit the ground running, even if Klopp is deploying the Argentine in a different, less attack-minded role than what we were used to seeing the 25-year-old play for Brighton.

Like the Liverpool of Old

Liverpool got off to a superb start to the current Premier League season, winning five and drawing one of their opening six games. They were even the better side for spells in the 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur despite playing with nine men for the last 21 minutes; only a horribly unlucky Joel Matip own goal at the death prevented us returning home from London with a share of the spoils.

Klopp’s men went unbeaten in the Premier League for 16 games before slipping up at the Emirates Stadium, losing 3-1 to Arsenal on February 4. It wasn’t the Reds’ best performance by any stretch of the imagination, but they made up for that loss with a comfortable 3-1 win over Burnley at Anfield a week later.

Everyone is talking about how brilliantly City are playing, but Liverpool are matching them in games won, have lost one match fewer, conceded two fewer goals and scored only one goal fewer.

If the Reds can match City’s results and beat them at Anfield on March 10, they win the league. It’s a tall(ish) order, but certainly not outside the realms of possibility.

Where Do You See Liverpool Dropping Points?

It’s a cliche to say there are no easy games in the Premier League, but Liverpool have what appears an easier run-in than Manchester City, at least on paper. Aside from facing the champions on March 10, the Reds travel to Old Trafford on April 6, and the only other game which looks especially tricky is the home clash against Tottenham on May 4.

City have Manchester United at home on March 3, us a week later, Arsenal on Easter Sunday, and Spurs away on April 20. In addition, Guardiola is bound to have an eye on the Champions League.

Klopp has had to deal with more than his fair share of injuries this season, but others have stepped up to the plate when required. Young Conor Bradley has been a revelation at full-back, while Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott have made the most of their game-time. Meanwhile, the talismanic Mo Salah made a goalscoring return to action last Saturday, and Szoboszlai should be back before the end of February.

Unfortunately, the Reds are having to cope with a horrendous injury crisis at the moment, but if the casualty list clears over the next month and we’re still leading the way in the Premier League, the prospects of a trophy list at Anfield on May 19 will look significantly greater.

READ MORE: Jurgen Klopp sends passionate message to Liverpool supporters ahead of Luton clash

Don’t Underestimate The Effect of Klopp’s Announcement

Although Klopp’s announcement on January 26 that he will depart as Liverpool manager at the end of the season was a huge surprise to everyone connected to the club, it could prove to be one last masterstroke from the 56-year-old. We know that he’d already informed people among the Anfield hierarchy about his intention to call it a day after the last game of the 2023/24 season, so why go public with less than a week of January remaining?

Klopp didn’t simply decide to throw in the towel on a whim, so he had his reasons for making the announcement when he did. Otherwise, he’d have patiently waited until the end of the campaign; there were no solid rumors about the German’s departure.

This leads us to a couple of possibilities. First, Klopp decided to make his announcement when he did so that the press focused the spotlight on him instead of his players.

Second, this Liverpool squad has a real sense of togetherness, and the manager knows they will give their all for the badge, but perhaps even more so now because they would love to send him on his way with another Premier League title.

The third possibility is likely a combination of those two factors, and the German genius could have made one of the Premier League’s greatest mind game plays.

To summarise, can Liverpool hold off Manchester City and prevent Guardiola from setting a new record of four consecutive Premier League titles? Yes is the resounding answer. Will Liverpool achieve that goal and allow Klopp to leave Anfield with two Premier League titles under his belt? Everything points to that answer being yes, too.

#Ep102 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: EOTK Insider with Neil Jones🎙️

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