Liverpool is coming off their first league title in 30 years, and they are looking to defend it this season. So far, they have done a good job, as they are in third place with 17 points; one off league leaders Leicester City. However, this season the injury bug has hit Liverpool hard, with the club currently dealing with injuries to four first team players. With that being said, can they still win the title this season?
To start off, Liverpool has the best manager in the league in Jurgen Klopp. Klopp’s squad steamrolled the league last year as Liverpool basically had the league locked up in February. However, his team stayed relatively healthy throughout the season and they were on the receiving end of some fortunate VAR decisions.
This season, both have not happened. Liverpool has lost three of their starting defenders, Virgil Van Dyke for the season, Joe Gomez for potentially a long time, Trent Alexander-Arnold for a month, and midfielder Thiago for a few weeks. In addition, Liverpool has not had VAR help them, as they should have beat Everton if not for multiple controversial VAR decisions. Dropped points from that game could come back to haunt them.
Also, the Liverpool defense has been slowly declining and these injuries are sure to expedite the decline. Virgil is one of the best defenders in the world, and his loss alone is massive. Coupled with losing his partner Gomez, Liverpool’s defense is in dire straits. Their fullbacks are attack oriented and can be liabilities on the defensive side. Also, losing right back Alexander-Arnold is going to hurt as well. Alexander-Arnold is of the best fullbacks in the world, who is elite at getting balls to the Liverpool attackers, will be out for a month, which will definitely make an impact.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for the Reds. This season the league is the most open it has been in years. There is no real elite contender this season. The two teams above Liverpool in the table, Leicester and Tottenham, both have flaws in their team. No one knows if they can sustain success throughout the long season. Tottenham is about to hit their toughest part of the season, this will tell if they are true title contenders or just top four contenders. Leicester, on the other hand, started off last season as a title contender, before they crumbled and finished outside the top four. Another team that has a shot at the title who is not currently above Liverpool is Manchester City. However, even with all the injuries to Liverpool, they were still able to scrap a draw against them this past weekend. Therefore, it would be a stretch to say City is much better than Liverpool at the moment.
In addition, Liverpool has one of the best attacks and midfield in the league. Even if they give up more goals than usual, this offense can turn up at the flip of a switch and hang with anyone. Because of this, it is very hard to count them out of any game. If forward Diogo Jota takes over for Roberto Firmino the Reds offense gets even deadlier. The Liverpool midfield is also good enough to control games with Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Fabinho, and Naby Kieta, this midfield can control possession and win back possession enough to take pressure off their defense.
Finally, they also have a top three goalie in the league with Allison. His ability to make great saves will also help out the injury riddled defense. Allison is also not very mistake prone, which is key when the defense is very iffy.
While Liverpool are not title favorites, they are definitely in the hunt for the Premier League title. Their offense and midfield is enough to keep them in contention, and they have the best manager in the league.