The Fixture Bottleneck Which Could Hand Liverpool The Advantage Over Manchester City In The Title Race
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville recently suggested that a Champions League exit against Bayern Munich would be a good thing for Liverpool's Premier League hopes.
Locked in a battle with Manchester City to finish top of the table, Liverpool ignored Neville's advice and impressively thumped Bayern Munich in the second leg to secure their place in the last eight of the Champions League.
With both clubs involved in the latter stages of the competition, (at least) another two games have been added to their already packed fixture lists.
On Saturday, Manchester City continue their quest for the FA Cup when they face Swansea City but this is a distraction Liverpool don't have to worry about having already been knocked out of the competition by Wolverhampton Wanderers. City manager Pep Guardiola is a man who has stopped short of making wholesale changes for Cup competitions in the past so squad rotation is out of the question. City have already beaten Chelsea to claim the Carabao Cup so the vaunted quadruple remains a possibility. While talk of the 'Q word' has been reportedly been banned at the Etihad Stadium, as every week goes by, it gets more mention.
It means City potentially have at least 13 games in 44 days after the international break - the additional ones will come if they continue to progress in the Champions League and FA Cup. City also have the significant matter of a Premier League clash with Manchester United at the end of April at Old Trafford as well as a league clash with Cardiff City - originally slated for April 6 - to reschedule.
This potential bottleneck could help Liverpool's title hopes because they won't face as many midweek games as the Sky Blues. The extra recovery time - even for only a few days - could prove critical at this demanding time of the season.
There has been a long-held argument that City's squad boasts more depth than Liverpool's but an upcoming international break will be welcomed by managers of both teams ahead of the business end of the season.