You don’t need to look at the Premier League latest odds to know that the title will undoubtedly be heading to Merseyside come May. Liverpool are having an incredible season – marginally helped by their rivals’ inconsistencies – and ended 2019 with a landmark win over Sheffield United. Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané secured the three points, ensuring the Reds ended the calendar year unbeaten in the current season so far – and more remarkably, it was their 37th league match without defeat.
Jürgen Klopp’s side last loss in the Premier League came on January 3rd 2019, when they were beaten by Manchester City 2-1 at The Etihad. At that moment, the gap at the top of the table closed to four points but Liverpool were unable to hold onto their advantage, and their 0-0 draw to Everton on March 3rd left them in second place for the rest of the campaign. What a difference a year makes and fast forward to the same point in time this season, the Reds are 13 points ahead of nearest challengers Leicester City with a game in hand, and a further point ahead of the current Premier League champions Manchester City.
Liverpool are just three league matches off equalling Chelsea who went 40 games unbeaten between October 16th 2004 and November 6th 2005 – while many are already backing them to surpass Arsenal’s record of 49 games without defeat. By failing to lose a single league game between May 7th 2003 and October 24th 2004, the Gunners are the only team in Premier League history to go an entire season unbeaten. If Klopp’s side continue their rich vein of form, they could look to equal the 49-game record at the Etihad on April 4th – or better, surpass it the following week at home to Aston Villa. The Kop will certainly be buzzing if they achieve it.
The business end of the season is when games come thick and fast and Liverpool will need to keep up their unbeaten run while juggling various competitions. At the end of the month, they’ll travel to their FA Cup fourth round opponents, either Bristol City or Shrewsbury Town, who contest a replay on Tuesday 14th January. In European football, they face a tough test in the Champions League. The Reds travel to Madrid midway through February to face Atlético Madrid in the round of 16, before hosting the Spanish club three weeks later in the return leg.
But the squad has incredible strength in depth, as outlined in the recent FA Cup win over rivals Everton. Klopp made nine changes to the side that had beaten Sheffield United a week previous, offering debuts to new signing Takumi Minamino and centre back Nathanial Phillips, while there was a place on the substitutes’ bench for 19-year-old Yasser Larouci who came on prematurely, due to James Milner departing the field with injury. One of Klopp’s most experienced heads looks set to miss the weekend’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur, possibly giving the teenager a chance to shine in the Premier League.
While you can argue that Liverpool are unstoppable this season, there’s always room for improvement and one area that could be improved is defensively. Last season, Liverpool topped the charts for keeping the most clean sheets (21), while they also conceded the fewest goals (22 in 38 matches). This season, they’ve kept just seven clean sheets – Alisson helping with five, while Adrián has only kept two. In stark contrast, Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel has kept eight. In spite of this, the Reds have still conceded the fewest goals in the division and have kept clean sheets in their last five league matches. Once again, they’re firing on all cylinders and are one of the most prolific goal-scoring teams in the top-flight. From an all-round point of view, Liverpool don’t look to be challenged in any area and it’s a matter of when, rather than if, the title is wrapped up.