Look Away Manchester United Fans - The 3 Reasons Why Liverpool WILL Win The Premier League
Rarely has the dawn of a new calendar year brought so much optimism for Liverpool fans. They sit seven points clear at the summit of the Premier League table and the red side of Merseyside are starting to believe that this could finally be their time.
It was 1990 that the Reds last won the top-flight title in England and we take a look at three reasons why 2019 could be the one they finally end their 29-year title drought...
Without wishing to state the blindingly obvious, Virgil van Dijk has been absolutely immense since signing from Southampton in January. The centre-back, along with new goalkeeper Alisson, has helped transform the defence from a jittery wreck to a well-oiled machine. They have conceded just eight goals in their 20 league games this season - they had conceded 23 at the same stage last term.
Jurgen Klopp has overseen Liverpool's best ever start to a Premier League season as their unbeaten campaign has yielded an impressive 54 points from 20 games so far. To put that in context, it is worth taking a look at their points tallies at this stage from seasons gone by... 2011 - 25; 2012 - 34; 2013 - 28; 2014 - 39; 2015 - 29; 2016 - 30; 2017 - 44; 2018 - 38.
The Reds have only dropped points against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal this term, which suggests they have finally found a way of beating the minnows, having dropped points against City, Burnley, Newcastle, Manchester Utd, Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton, West Brom and Arsenal by this stage last season.
The new found confidence ensures Liverpool are seven points clear of Manchester City ahead of their crunch clash at The Etihad Stadium on Thursday night. Every team to be so far clear going into the New Year has gone on to win the title during the Premier League era.
Leaving It Late
Liverpool have left it late to win a few games this season, not least with Divock Origi's fluke goal in the 1-0 win over Everton earlier this season, but their ability to strike late is testament to their ability to go the distance and as a result of their opposition tiring after being overwhelmed by the all-energy approach of the Reds.
No team has scored more goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League matches than Liverpool, who have scored 13 in that time. It is telling that Liverpool scored 17 in the final 15 minutes of games during the whole of last season.
In contrast, Manchester City scored 25 in the final 15 minutes of matches during the 2017/18 season but have managed just nine this time around.
There is plenty in Liverpool's favour and it wouldn't be overegging the pudding to suggest that Thursday's clash between the top-two is a title decider.