Manchester City are now seen as big favourites to retain their Premier League title after they leapfrogged Liverpool at the weekend.
The Reds looked worryingly limp going forwards in their stalemate at Goodison Park on Sunday and their destiny is now out of their hands for the first time in 2019.
Yet Jurgen Klopp responded bullishly to reporters’ questions in the aftermath of the draw and it will now be up to him to galvanise the squad. City are in ominous form and the Reds will need to be close to immaculate for the rest of the campaign if they are to usurp them.
The best betting websites covering Liverpool show that they are now priced between 2/1 and 5/2 to win the title this season, whilst Man City are now as short as 1/3. Pep Guardiola’s side have won five on the bounce, vanquishing Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea, West Ham and Bournemouth with a blend of grit and brilliance.
Liverpool remain on a long unbeaten run, but Klopp’s side are drawing far too many games at the business end of the season, where each result is under the microscope. The goalless draw with Everton was their fourth draw in six league games, a far cry from December’s title-winning form.
Last season, the Reds were frequently exhilarating in attack, however their title challenge was undone by brittleness at the back and a focus on the Champions League. This time around they have generated a phenomenal defensive improvement, but they need to rediscover the attacking swagger they displayed towards the end of the previous campaign.
Whilst the trio have failed to collectively live up to last year’s stunning form, they remain attackers that can cause havoc on their day. It’s up to Klopp to bring that out of them for the rest of the season.
The Reds showed off their firepower in a 5-0 win over in-form Watford in their last home game, and they need to hit those performance levels with consistency over the next couple of months.
Their next game sees Liverpool host Burnley at Anfield and it represents the perfect opportunity to secure a morale-boosting victory. The Clarets are in dismal form, having lost by a two-goal margin to both Newcastle and Crystal Palace in their last two matches. They are languishing in 16th place in the table.
It finished 3-1 to Liverpool when these teams met at Turf Moor in December, and Klopp’s men should, on paper, be able to secure an even more emphatic victory at home.
Once the small matter of a trip to Munich is out the way, they then head to London to face a doomed Fulham side. The Cottagers have by far and away the worst defensive record in the league and the Reds should convincingly turn out winners.
Six points from their next two fixtures is essential for the Reds, who then face Spurs, before a tricky trip to Southampton.
They face an out-of-sorts Chelsea at home, before the season concludes with tricky but winnable games against Cardiff, Huddersfield, Newcastle, and Wolves.
It is a kind run-in, as seven of their remaining nine games are against teams in the bottom half of the table. If they can overcome Spurs and Chelsea, Liverpool will have a great chance of winning the title.
City still have to play Manchester United and Tottenham, whilst the likes of Leicester and Crystal Palace could give them trouble too.
The worry has been that Guardiola’s side will go on to win all of their last fixtures, however should they do that, they would have gained 51 points out of 54 available. A feat out of the Harlem Globetrotter’s play book.
You have to assume that they will drop points between now and the end of the season and Liverpool simply need to be as close to flawless as possible in order to capitalise. If Klopp’s defiance and positivity rubs off on his players, they might just secure a stunning title triumph.