CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Can Liverpool Take the Premier League This Season?

05 August, 2019

Liverpool will aim to put the heartbreak of last season’s agonising Premier League runner-up finish behind them as they bid for glory in 2019/20. The Reds secured an astonishing 97-point haul last season and they only suffered one defeat in the entire campaign. However, that came at the hands of Man City, who pipped them to the post by a single point as the title race went right down to the wire. It looks like we should be in for another two-horsed race next season and it will be thrilling to see if Liverpool can gain sweet revenge by toppling Pep Guardiola’s men.

The best betting sites on the market make Man City the odds-on favourites to win the Premier League for a third season in a row. They clinched the title with a record-breaking 100 points in 2017/18, and the 98 points they managed last season was the second highest in Premier League history. Yet they needed to win their final 14 games on the bounce in order to overhaul Jurgen Klopp’s side, and they will need to be at their very best if they are to triumph again in 2019/20.

The bookies make Liverpool close second favourites, and there is then a massive gap until you come to Tottenham at 16/1. Chelsea are out at 25/1 after selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, and they cannot replace him as they have been hit with a two-window transfer ban for breaching regulations when signing young players. Maurizio Sarri has left and it looks like developing into a transition year for the Blues.

Man Utd are out at 30/1 after finishing sixth last season, and they looked unconvincing for large spells under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Arsenal look to be several players short of mounting a serious title challenge, while Spurs lack the depth of quality on show at Man City and Liverpool, so it could well boil down to another titanic battle between those Premier League heavyweights.

Klopp’s men should approach the season with confidence and buoyancy after they won the Champions League in May. Their 4-0 semi-final victory over Barcelona proved that Anfield is a fortress, while their 2-0 win against Spurs in the final showed that they can grind out results in tough conditions.

There has been very little in the way of transfer activity at Anfield this summer. The old adage goes that if you stand still, you go backwards. However, that is unlikely to be the case at Liverpool. They were thoroughly brilliant last season and there are no real gaps in their squad. They have two good players in almost every position, although they could do with another versatile forward, as they are quite reliant on the star attacking triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firimino.

Yet Klopp’s players have all bought into his philosophy and the key men are all the right side of 30. They have the energy for Gegenpressing and the experience to manage games, so they should be formidable next season.

The situation is not quite so stable at The Etihad. Club captain Vincent Kompany has retired, so it marks the end of an era for Man City. Fernandinho is now 34, David Silva has entered his last season and Father Time is starting to catch up with Sergio Aguero. They will need more heroics from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva next season, while City fans will have to pray that Kevin De Bruyne does not suffer another long-term injury. Against that backdrop, a more settled, stable Liverpool side could finally end 30 years of hurt and seize that long overdue Premier League title triumph in 2020.

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