Liverpool are major title contenders, and here is why.
Brendan Rodgers may have been quick to say that Liverpool are not title contenders this season, but there is one very big reason why he may soon have to re-evaluate that thought – if only in private.
Following Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night, something is becoming abundantly clear: No one is going to walk away with this title.
That job was supposed to be Manchester City’s. After all, they had the squad for it, and a manager whose overriding tactic seemed to be to tell them to score…and to keep scoring. But the Blues lost to Chelsea and followed that up with a 0-0 draw against Norwich City.
Similarly Arsenal, who sat atop the Premier League for much of the first half of the season, suffered a 5-1 humiliation at Anfield, which brings us back to Liverpool.
It is a big ask, and requires Manchester United to beat Arsenal and Sunderland to shock City, but if results go their way this evening, Rodgers’ side could be just four points off top spot.
But even if both the Gunners and Pellegrini’s men win this evening, a victory for the Reds over Fulham will see them just five points off the lead in a race few appear confident of winning.
Given the form of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, the impressive development of Jon Flanagan, the regained swagger of Philippe Coutinho, re-discovered form of Raheem Sterling and welcome sight of Lucas Leiva back on the training ground, this Liverpool side can win the title.
In fact it is the very sense that they cannot – that it is too soon for them – that could in fact make them favourites. With no pressure comes no fear; and with no fear comes results like Saturday’s 5-1 victory.
image: © Vincent Teeuwen