Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Liverpool looking like real deal after City victory

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 1 Jan 2017

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has had a lot to smile about of late

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has had a lot to smile about of late

For years Liverpool fans have stated with misplaced faith ‘This is going to be our season’.

Of course, that phrase is referring to the Reds winning the Premier League title. That blind faith has looked downright silly at times during the last 25 years or so.

However, that phrase may just ring true this season.

Liverpool are very much title contenders under the affable Jurgen Klopp after a 1-0 win over Manchester City saw the Reds move four points clear of the big spending Manchester outfit in the Premier League table.

Of course, there is also the small matter of Chelsea being six points clear at the top. However, that lead could look very slim with the Blues due to visit Anfield at the end of the month.

Producing better defensive displays

Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp have been regarded as a gung-ho attacking team, a team that just attacks, attacks and attacks. Their defensive record this season has been poor, but of late the Reds seem to have found a more solid way of playing.

Jurgen Klopp decided to set-up his team more defensively against City, which any self-respecting boss would probably do. The German boss knew that the Citizens had the attacking talent to cut right through their defence. The Reds boss counteracted City by dropping his team deeper and fielding an extra man in the centre of midfield.

The tactic worked, whether people want to criticise or not, Liverpool gained the three points and City left Merseyside empty-handed.

On a whole Klopp’s side are now producing far more solid defensive displays, with three clean sheets in their last four games illustrating the point perfectly. The Reds may just have found the defensive solidity to go with their already impressive attacking play.

Phillipe Coutinho is close to a return

Liverpool have kept their title charge going without the services of Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho. The former Inter star has been injured since the end of November. However, he is back in training and according to boss Klopp ‘He is in a good way, a very good way’.

Coutinho was outstanding this season prior to his injury, producing five top-flight goals and six assists. Every good move Liverpool produced prior to his injury seemed to involve Coutinho in some way.

His football intelligence and movement helped the Reds score a lot of goals. The Reds have coped admirably without the star. He is not expected to feature at Sunderland on Monday. However, he is close to a return to first-team action which can only be a boost to the Reds title challenge.

Still outsiders for the title

Liverpool may look like Chelsea’s main challengers for the title at the moment at odds of 4/1, but there is a long way to go this season. The Reds main aim this season had to be regaining a spot in the top four.

It now looks like that is the least Jurgen Klopp’s side will achieve this season. Klopp has stated he is not thinking about the title just yet. However, the Reds fans are certainly thinking about the prospect of the club winning their first English title in over a quarter of a century.

At the moment Chelsea are looking very strong and are by far the favourites to win the title. However, there seems to be the feeling that all the pressure is now on Chelsea to sustain their lead at the top of the table.

Liverpool have nothing to lose at this point, as they are looking good for a top four spot. You know what they say about the man with nothing to lose, he is dangerous.

The Reds may not win the title. However, the Merseysider’s fans may well be far more entitled to mutter those seemingly immortal words ‘This is going to be our season’ at the moment. Their team do look like they have the potential to really mount a serious title challenge this season, even if it’s a failed one.

Can Liverpool end their long wait for a top-flight title this season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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