Four reasons why Liverpool CAN win the Premier League title
Kieran Beckles looks at four reasons why Liverpool are capable of winning the Premier League title this season
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has an ace card in his Reds pack that is the envy of all their Premier League rivals: Luis Suarez. The 26-year-old has regularly flirted with controversy since joining the Reds in 2011, but there is no doubting his talent. The Uruguay international jumped a level last season after scoring 23 goals in 33 Premier League appearances before being banned for biting Branislav Ivanovic. Despite missing the opening five games of the season, Suarez has made huge strides again and has netted a breathtaking 17 goals in 10 top-flight appearances. Every Premier League title-winning side needs a truly great prolific finisher; Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers) and Didier Drogba (Chelsea) have all fired their respective clubs to domestic glory. With Suarez in their ranks, Liverpool have the firepower and magic to beat any rival – as proven by his performance at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Continuity and team spirit
With City, Chelsea, United all bringing in new managers in the summer, as well as Tottenham’s recent sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, Arsenal and Liverpool are the only contenders who have not experienced change over the past six months. This has to benefit both clubs in the race for the Premier League title. Despite the intense speculation surrounding Suarez’s future in the summer – and his temporary desire to leave Anfield, Rodgers has managed to successfully integrate the want-away forward back into his squad with no lasting tension. It’s a ringing endorsement of the 40-year-old’s man management. There appears to be a real team spirit in the Reds camp – and belief. Whilst a 5-0 win proves the Reds are full of confidence, it was also interesting to observe the wild celebrations following Jon Flanagan’s strike at White Hart Lane. The 20-year-old emphatically finished from close range to give the visitors a 3-0 lead – and the whole line-up went to celebrate with the young left-back, aside from goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. It represented the squad’s affection for a local lad who has worked tirelessly to force his way into first-team contention. With a blossoming team spirit and a style of play which is starting to produce consistent results, Liverpool may have found a winning formula just in time for the title race’s climax.
Arsenal, Chelsea, City and United all have testing Champions League clashes to come in February as the Premier League title race reaches its crescendo. Liverpool, however, have the FA Cup as their sole distraction in the second half of the season after finishing outside of the European places last season. It’s no secret that Rodgers doesn’t have an overwhelmingly big squad – unlike Chelsea and City – and the Reds are already being stretched without Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge, who are currently sidelined with injuries. But once the demanding festive period is over, Rodgers won’t be forced to put such a strain on his squad – as well as prospective additions. Furthermore, City and United are both contending with big-name injuries, too. Citizens striker Sergio Aguero is out for a reported eight weeks, whilst Robin van Persie has spent large parts of the current campaign nursing various ailments.
After a difficult start to his Liverpool reign, Rodgers finally enjoyed the fruits of his labour as the Reds went on an impressive run in the second half of the season. It was only eclipsed by Arsene Wenger’s men, who climbed the table to secure fourth spot. If Liverpool can continue that trend in the latter months of the current campaign, then the 18-time English champions have a great chance of ending their long wait for the top-flight crown. Liverpool are in the middle of a difficult run of fixtures. Liverpool passed their Tottenham test ahead of a home clash against Cardiff City, before back-to-back away games at City and Chelsea. However, on the flip side, Liverpool will benefit from facing Jose Mourinho’s men and Eastlands outfit at Anfield in April, whilst Arsenal will make the trip to Merseyside in February. Liverpool have already beaten the defending champions on Merseyside this term and will fancy their chances of adding the scalps of the Blues and Pellegrini’s side to that list – particularly given their away form.