Liverpool’s Title Charge: Three Games the Reds Should Be Defensively Wary Of
This season, Liverpool end a thirty-year wait for a league title. With the remainder of the season a formality, the only jeopardy left for this campaign is the odd game where Jurgen Klopp’s Reds could slip up on the victory procession. With the best defence in the league so far, the three games below are a summary of teams who could prove a threat to a largely immaculate backline.
Looking ahead to next season, Klopp might decide to rotate and introduce some changes to his starting eleven. Should he do so, the reduced experience and cohesion in the side could provide a way in for those looking to spoil the march to glory. That said, with the trophy in the bag, would anybody really mind?
Manchester City – 2 July
The former champions welcome Liverpool at the beginning of July and, judging by their performance since football returned from its hiatus, Pep Guardiola’s side look unlikely to let Liverpool increase the gap at the top. Aided by some calamitous play from David Luiz, City swept past Arsenal on the opening evening of the restart and look in imperious form.
With Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and many more all capable of finding the back of the net, Liverpool will have to be on their guard against a typical East Manchester onslaught. Klopp may look to press City high, attacking on the counter, but the speed at which City’s defence and midfield can cause a counter-break should be considered.
Burnley – 11 July
They might not have the glitz and glamour of Manchester City, but Burnley are likely to pose problems at Anfield. Last season, the Clarets scored twice on Merseyside – once directly from a corner – and Dwight McNeil caused Trent Alexander-Arnold all sorts of issues down the Burnley left wing. Still, in with a shout of European qualification, Sean Dyche’s men will be looking to keep a tight defence and hurt Liverpool from set-pieces.
Check Premier League betting odds closer to the game to see what the chances are of an upset; Liverpool fans will remember a painful defeat at Turf Moor in 2016 when Dyche’s Burnley won 2-0 with only 19% possession.
Chelsea – 18 July
Chelsea eagerly awaits the arrival of Timo Werner, who was a prime target of the Reds for some time, but in the instant, their current crop does still pose a threat. In the hunt for a Champions League place, they will be raring to go for this penultimate game of the season. The Blues have an impressive scoring record; it is their defence that Frank Lampard will be more concerned about. Liverpool and Chelsea have clashed three times already this season and the London side have scored in every game, winning both of the cup ties. Granted, the Reds played heavily weakened sides in these fixtures but, in the second-to-last game of the season, Klopp could be giving some younger members of the squad minutes in this match as well.