Can this Liverpool side win back to back Premier League titles?
Liverpool didn’t just win the Premier League title last season, they won it by a country mile. When the final game of the 2019-20 campaign was over, the team superbly led by Jurgen Klopp were 18 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City. By the final stretch of the season, each of just three league defeats was considered an utter shock, although, by then, the title was pretty much in the bag already.
Perhaps the most pleasing thing about winning the Premier League, and being so dominant throughout the campaign, very few people were actually surprised at just how they were. When you read about Gary Neville praising Liverpool and lavishing the team with superlatives, as the Echo was only too happy to point out, you know something special is happening. The former Man Utd player, now a Sky Sports pundit, usually prefers belittling the Anfield club.
Pundits and fans alike are now pondering whether Liverpool can continue to dominate, which has become increasingly difficult in the English game. Without any disrespect to Leicester City, because even their fans were shocked in 2015, but, if they can win the Premier League, it just goes to show how competitive this competition really is. The big question is this: Can this Liverpool team win their second title in a row?
Well, perhaps in 20 years or so there’ll be a blog post right here, fondly looking back at how Liverpool successfully defended their title, reigning supreme once again during the 2020-21 season. Meanwhile, and back to the present, many of the leading online bookmakers are backing the Reds as favourites to win the Premier League. Although odds and welcome bonus deals can vary from site to site, as this article about football betting explains in detail.
Despite being favourites with the majority of bookies, the path ahead could be long and winding until the end of the 2020-21 season, if the opening third of the campaign is any indication. Liverpool were unable to match the 27-game unbeaten run they enjoyed last season. In fact, defeat came much earlier in the Premier League this time around and, when it did, it was one of those humbling and humiliating affairs we’re always keen to forget.
After beating newly-promoted Leeds United 4-3 in a thrilling opening encounter, Liverpool underlined their credentials by defeating Chelsea 0-2 at Stamford Bridge. When the Reds then won 3-1 at home against Arsenal, everything pointed towards this being another comfortable season for Klopp’s men. Then came the game against Aston Villa.
Sometimes games like this just happen in football and, when they do, even the wisest sages of the game struggle to explain why. Liverpool were soundly beaten 7-2 at Villa park, despite being at full strength against a team they were otherwise expected to beat. It was certainly a game Liverpool fans were keen to forget, although, by coincidence, and just to bring back the smiles, Man Utd were trounced 1-6 at home by Tottenham on the very same day.
“It’s a funny old game,” iconic Spurs legend Jimmy Greaves might have uttered, sat alongside Reds icon from the 1960’s, Ian St John, during the golden years of their punditry collaboration on ITV. That much is certainly true, although, since that shock defeat, Liverpool are once again back where they need to be. They are consistently picking up points and avoiding defeats, jostling at the top of the Premier League table.
That said, the 2020-21 campaign looks as though it may be one of the tightest campaigns in recent memory, with just five points difference between the top eight teams, after the first 12 games of the season. Klopp and his Liverpool squad face an almighty challenge ahead, that much is already clear. If they can do it, that would be proof that even in the toughest circumstances, this team can deliver the goods, perhaps worthy of even greater praise than last season.
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