So far the new Premier League season has progressed as most observers expected, with Manchester City and Liverpool already proving themselves a class apart from the rest. Liverpool in particular have made a fine start to the campaign, which already has people wondering if they can finally end their near-30-year wait for a league title.
Even those who follow sports other than football cannot fail to have noticed the Reds’ form. Six wins from six leaves them the only side in the division with a one hundred percent record at this point. The fixture list has not even been especially kind to them, as they had to face awkward games against unpredictable Arsenal and Chelsea sides during that run. The latter match – Liverpool’s most recent fixture –showed how much steelier the side is now than in the first few years of Jurgen Klopp’s reign. Having raced into a two-goal lead at Stamford Bridge, the Reds had to hold off a Chelsea fight-back after Frank Lampard’s men pulled one back, but they did so. The comeback to win after going a goal down to an obstinate Newcastle side also showed that Liverpool now have grit to go with their striking flair.
Given the degree to which defensive frailties derailed their trophy aspirations up until last season, the fact that they have conceded just five goals in six games shows how effectively this problem has been solved by the signings of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dyke – further underlining their title credentials this season.
On the other hand, attack is any area that has been a strong point for Liverpool under Klopp, but it is goal scoring that former Reds striker Emile Heskey is arguing will stop them winning the title. The club’s first-choice striking line-up of Mane, Salah and Firmino is perhaps the most lethal in all Europe, but Heskey argues they lack the squad strength in striking positions to cover for any of them. This is a debatable point though, as even two of these players fit will render Liverpool too potent for most of the teams in the league.
It could be argued however that the biggest league tests still await Liverpool, and with them and City so far ahead of the rest, it is surely the matches between the two that will decide the title. The next four games for Liverpool include an away match against Manchester United and a home game against Tottenham, but there is nothing in the form shown by either of these sides so far this season to suggest they will cause this Liverpool team any problems. That means they could take the record for successive league wins away from City, which would strike a psychological blow ahead of the first encounter between the two in November.
Although City have the stronger squad on paper, Liverpool have the points advantage already and a real chance of winning the league at long last