There are very few things in this world that redefine the word certainty than Liverpool’s run to an unprecedented 19th Premier League title, a first in 30 years. Well, it has been a long time coming after years of rebuilding to the well-oiled machine that the current Merseyside team is. Their latest display is a reminiscence of a side bullish to break records with little regard to their near flawless footballing imperfections.
An impressive run of 24 wins from 25 games puts them on the brink of making history should they continue with this run. Last season, they would have been crowned champions in 19 out of the previous 20 seasons given their points total of 97. The scintillating rivalry with Manchester City was expected to spiral over this season but that has not materialised. The task is pretty straight forward for the defending European champions; win eight in 13 matches and secure a trophy. Have the Reds strengthened? In the recently concluded January window, Takumi Minamino was added to bolster an already potent squad from Red Bull Salzburg. The competition for places means that he is a backup option for Jurgen Klopp.
The bookies’ odds on Liverpool winning the Premier League is a clear indication on the state of affairs on the ground. A comfortable 19 point lead with 13 games to spare is a dream scenario for the Reds. Bet 365 have Liverpool at 1/1000 to win. Manchester City are a 100 to win according to William Hill. Further down the line town rivals Manchester United are whopping a 4500 to win in it. This is no surprise as they trail the log leaders by a massive 38 points.
Manchester United have also been involved in January. They sensationally sealed a move for long term target Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon after a discouraging back and forth with the Portuguese side. He had a decent first game against a tricky Wolverhampton Wanderers. The attack minded midfielder had five shots in total with three being on target (60%). There is a huge possibility that he will have Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay as partners in midfield at the end of the winter break.
The Red Devils, who brought in Odion Ighalo in a shocking deadline day move, travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. Of great importance is the battle for Champions League slots. Chelsea, fourth on 41 points, have teams around ready to pounce if they drop points. A win for United will move them to within three points of their rivals. United have already beaten Chelsea twice this season, an opening day 4-0 win at Old Trafford followed by a 2-1 success at in the FA Cup.
Despite the Red Devils’ form against their opponents, bookies at Sky Bet have tipped Chelsea to win at 4/5 with a draw tipped at 13/5. United are 10/3 to win this one. The battle at the Bridge on paper is billed to be a cracker. Will the return of key players be the difference for United or will the youthful Blues side continue to show no fear this season. Granted, this will be an important fixture in the top 4 race so ensure you stay informed at free bets. Virgin Bet is ushering new gamers into their platform in style. This is for a minimum of £10 deposit and bet, placed and settled at 1.50 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. The reward is awarded as two times non-withdrawable £10 free bet tokens.
In other news, Manchester City surprisingly lost back-to-back games. First, it was in the derby during the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United and eventually lost 2-0 in the league against a clinical Tottenham Hotspur. This all but cemented Liverpool’s status as the champions-elect. They did not do any business in the transfer window. This means that players such as Fernandinho will continue with the unfamiliar role of centre back.
Their struggles this season are compounded by the fact that manager Pep Guardiola never stays beyond the third season. He has won it all at City apart from the much coveted Champions League. Given the strength of the teams around them, there remain doubts over whether they have the clout to go all the way. The current episode shows that Guardiola sat down with his players to discuss why the team had faltered.
Reports emerged that he had a dressing room sit down after the Spurs defeat for 45 minutes. It was reported that the players wanted the manager to stop rotating his starting 11. I mean for a manager that has tinkered with 76 combinations of players this season (the most in the Premier League), there is little wonder why the issue of consistency eventually arose.