Liverpool Maintains Course For Earliest Premier League Triumph Ever
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They’re calling Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge a procession because that’s exactly what it is. For whatever reason, that’s come to be seen as a howl of despair from neutrals, as though Liverpool’s brilliance is setting off an ennui inside us all that can only be rectified by allowing offside goals scored against the Reds to stand.
But the fact of the matter is that the world’s best team is by far and away the world’s best team. They have the world’s best manager, the world's best keeper, the world’s best defender, the world’s best whatever Trent Alexander-Arnold is and the world’s best wide attacking duo. With that formula, the questions become whether they can join Arsenal’s Invincibles as the only team to go through a Premier League season unbeaten and if they can beat Manchester City’s record 2017-18 tally of 100 points.
“We are a unit so we fight until somebody says ‘it’s enough’ and ‘you have enough points’ or not,” Jürgen Klopp said. “We will see. But it’s not about belief. If we were not confident it would be really crazy but it’s not about knowing, or wanting to know, that it’s already done.
“Imagine, really, if you asked me and I sat here and said ‘yeah, actually, I think it’s done. But we still play of course but I think it’s done.’ That would be really crazy. But, since five, six weeks ago we are still asking that question constantly. And I, as a normal human being, have the same answer. Because it’s not done. So discuss it if you want, ask me if you want, but don’t expect a different answer.”
With Klopp having given us the green light to discuss it and tell him when the points total is enough, here are the latest formulations regarding Liverpool’s title charge.
When Can Liverpool Win The League?
Following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Norwich City, Liverpool opened up a 25-point lead over second-place Manchester City. The Reds have earned 76 points from a total of 78 on offer (P26, W25, D1, L0). It sounds ridiculous but not really at this point: If Liverpool wins its remaining 12 fixtures, they’ll finish the season with 112 points.
The most Manchester City could conceivably end with is 90 points, meaning that Liverpool could possibly capture the 2019-20 Premier League title on Match Day 31, which is Mar. 21. Liverpool only needs to win five of its remaining 12 fixtures to claim the title. That match on Mar. 21 is against Crystal Palace at Anfield.
If both City and Leicester continued to slip-up, Liverpool could possibly earn the title as early as Mar. 7 against Bournemouth.
But if Liverpool accomplished it on Match Day 31 (with seven games still to play), they’d eclipse City’s 2017-18 team, which won the league with five games still to play. That's the current top-flight record shared by City, Everton (1984-85) and Manchester United (1907-08 and 2000-01). However, in terms of date, the earliest was United’s win on Apr. 14, 2001, and Liverpool would obviously eclipse that as well.
Of course Liverpool must also balance its FA Cup participation (vs. Chelsea on Mar. 3) and Champions League defense (vs. Atlético on Feb. 18 and Mar. 11), and a perfect, 12-game run-in is almost inconceivable. Then again, this is a team that’s unbeaten in 42 consecutive league games and has suffered only one loss in 64.
At the moment, both Manchester City and third-place Leicester City look more likely to drop points and push Liverpool’s coronation date even further forward.
Liverpool Key Remaining Fixtures
- Mar. 16: Everton (A)
- Apr. 4: Manchester City (A)
- May 2: Arsenal (A)
- May 9: Chelsea (H)
- May 17: Newcastle (A)