Home News 3 reasons Liverpool could have the advantage in Premier League title run-in

3 reasons Liverpool could have the advantage in Premier League title run-in

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With the final international break of the season almost over, a 10-game shootout for the Premier League title is about to begin.

Just a single point separates Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City going into the final stages of what has been a thrilling title race thus far.

But who is best placed to go on and lift the trophy in May?

We’ve taken a look at three aspects that could have a big say in who wins the title and found that the Reds have plenty to be encouraged by heading into the run-in.

 

The fixture list

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 8, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates with team-mate Darwin Núñez after scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the American Express Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The first bit of good news for Liverpool here is that they could well take control of the title race immediately after the international break.

Should the Reds do their job by beating Brighton at Anfield on Sunday, they will be able to watch Man City host Arsenal later in the day knowing that a draw or a win for the hosts puts them in the driving seat with nine games remaining.

There is further reason for cheer as far as the fixture list is concerned, too.

Of the teams the three contenders have still to face, Liverpool’s opponents have picked up the fewest points per game (1.37) so far this season.

By this measure, City have the second-easiest schedule (1.52 PPG), while the leaders Arsenal have the most difficult (1.63 PPG).

In theory, that should mean Jurgen Klopp‘s men find it easier to pick up points in this most crucial period of the campaign.

 

The managers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola (R) greets Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Of course, this time of the season is as much about dealing with pressure as it is about proving how good a football team you are.

And so it is interesting to examine how the three managers have typically fared during past Premier League run-ins.

In Mikel Arteta’s four campaigns in charge, Arsenal have rarely finished well, averaging just 16.5 points from a possible 30 over the last 10 games.

Unsurprisingly, Guardiola has done much better, averaging 23.5 points over the same four-season period – a return that has earned him three Premier League titles.

However, it is Klopp who boasts the best record, having averaged 24 points while posting the best total of any of the three managers (26) on two separate occasions.

Should the German oversee another strong finish, as he has done even in forgettable campaigns such as 2020/21 and 2022/23, then Liverpool have a great chance.

 

European commitments

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 14, 2024: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo celebrate the sixth goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and AC Sparta Praha at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If there is any upside to Liverpool missing out on Champions League qualification last year, then perhaps they are about to experience it.

There may be no easy games in European competition, but there is no doubt that the Europa League offers more scope for rotation in between the coming Premier League fixtures.

And that is a luxury that neither Arsenal or City will have as they move into the latter stages of the far more demanding Champions League.

The Gunners have the distraction of a two-legged quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich coming up, while City face an equally daunting clash with Real Madrid.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 23, 2023: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And should both sides progress, their reward will be to meet each other in an all-English semi-final that can hardly aid their title hopes.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are heavy favourites for the Europa League, and will hope to show why in making an upcoming tie against Atalanta and then a potential semi against either Benfica or Marseille look straightforward.