After a weekend break with the FA Cup, the Premier League returns this weekend meaning that Liverpool’s focus will go back to winning the title and continuing their flawless form. Many believe that the title is well on its way to Merseyside if not already there, but it’s worth remembering that Liverpool have led going into Christmas only to throw it away. So, what are the season-defining games for Liverpool?
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Liverpool to win at 7/10
Tottenham v Liverpool (11/01)
Spurs go into this tie after a New Year’s Day defeat by a rejuvenated Southampton. It’s a weird state of affairs for Jose Mourinho and his men as their results have been a mixed bag. A handful of wins along with Dele Alli’s newfound form may have masked their defensive woes initially but it’s now clear that there’s work to do for the manager. The Lilywhites have only kept two clean sheets in the Premier League this season and looked more than uncomfortable against lower league opposition Middlesbrough.
On the other hand, Liverpool still look unstoppable. A classy win from a young Liverpool side in the FA Cup’s Merseyside derby showed just how good they are. The Reds will still view this game as a must-win. Although Spurs haven’t been at their best recently, they have more than enough quality to win, even without injured Harry Kane. Liverpool can’t afford to start slow and underestimate Tottenham but if Jurgen Klopp’s men come out like they have done in previous weeks, I can see them taking the three points at 7/10.
This is a game that could define Liverpool’s season. A win here will keep their confidence going into two more tough opponents in Manchester United and Wolves, while a loss may set them off-kilter.
Wolves v Liverpool (23/01)
Klopp’s outfit will be coming off the back of games against Tottenham and Manchester United, with Wolves rounding off a hat-trick of potential banana skins for the Reds. Liverpool will be looking to get through these fixtures stress-free, with an easy string of games to look forward to directly after. Wolves will be looking to strengthen their European bid for next season and it’s no secret they can take down the best on their day. They have enjoyed great success against the ‘big six’ since their return to the Premier League. Aside from Manchester City, I believe that this could be Liverpool’s hardest fixture of the rest of the season.
Liverpool v Aston Villa (11/04)
If Liverpool were to keep up their flawless form throughout the rest of the Premier League season, this would be the game where, mathematically, they could not then be caught. The Reds only need to win 13 games to secure the league so, in other words, this visit from Aston Villa signals that potential 13th victory. It should be taken into account, though, that the Villains could be fighting for survival at this stage, so it’s a game in which anything could happen.
Manchester City v Liverpool (04/04)
It’s likely that Liverpool’s season-defining game will come at the tail-end of the season. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City wanted to be competing for the title this season, but the Spaniard has already put forth his opinion that Liverpool have the league sealed already. It’s still only January so I don’t think it’s completely over, an opinion which Pep probably shares but understandably is playing down. As previously stated, Liverpool have ended up losing the league after leading at this stage in previous seasons, and Manchester City have all the quality in the world to mount a title bid in the second-half of the season. Stranger things have happened.
If the Reds start to slip up before this fixture comes around and City gather momentum, then this game could be a title decider. Another permutation is that Liverpool continue their formidable form and their visit to the Etihad could still deny them an invincible season. While a win in this scenario would see them eclipse Arsenal’s record by making it 50 games without tasting defeat. Regardless of the situation, it will be a fantastic game.
Liverpool v Arsenal (02/05)
While much can be, and has been, said of Liverpool’s faultless run of games, it’s ultimately about the players that are putting it together. Many have speculated that this Liverpool squad is as good as Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’, some may feel that they are even better. If the Reds managed to go all the way to the late stages of the season unbeaten, they’ll be up against the only team to have managed to do it in the Premier League. A win will signal the passing of the crown, eclipsing one of Arsenal’s greatest ever achievements. This game is definitely one the Gunners fans won’t be looking forward to.
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