The Premier League is at exactly halfway and Liverpool sits at the top of the table. They’ve got a 6 points advantage on Tottenham Hotspur, 7 points on Manchester City and 11 points on Chelsea. In this post I want to discuss three factors that make Liverpool’s title-race a serious one this season.
Liverpool’s title-race compared to last season
With 19 games on the board, it’s interesting to see how Liverpool’s number are compared to last season.
Goalkeeper + Centre Back
Watching at the stats shows where the difference has been made so far this season. Liverpool scored only 2 goals more than last season at this point, but at the same time they conceded 14 goals less. Two players are vital in getting these results. The first one is of course Alisson Becker. Liverpool had struggled to find a good goalkeeper over the last couple of years. Last season it were Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius who both played a bunch of matches. Neither of these goalies was flawless and they both made some vital errors. They bought Alisson Becker for a record fee in the summer and he’s worth every penny of it. In front of him Virgil van Dijk is the one who clears everything. The Dutch centre back has grown into the very best centre-back of the league. Every time I see him play he looks to be even better than before. The combination Alisson + Van Dijk is by far the most solid in the Premier League.
The Premier League isn’t really known for giving youngster the chance to play a lot. We’ve all seen it with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson. Two top talents who are doing bits in the German Bundesliga at the moment. Jurgen Klopp is a manager who does bring some talented players in the first team and they’re doing great. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez are developing into two amazing defensive players. For young defenders, there isn’t any thing better than playing next to Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool’s summer transfer window was an interesting one. They’ve bought of course Alisson Becker, but there were no world class signings amongst the outfield players. They’ve did exactly what they needed to do. The squad depth of Liverpool is so much stronger with the likes of Shaqiri, Fabinho and Keïta. With the busy schedule in the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp has the chance to rotate players, without losing much quality on the pitch.
It’s still early to say that Liverpool’s title-race is won. They play Manchester City on the 3rd of January, losing this match means the gap between these teams is only 4 points. But in all fairness, Liverpool is really on the right track to play for the title until the very last day of this season.