Why Liverpool are favourites to win the Premier League early

By Mirror: Wednesday, August 22nd 2018 at 09:30 GMT +3 | Football
Jurgen Klopp joins Liverpool players in celebrating the win over Crystal Palace [COURTESY]

Liverpool have got their Premier League campaign off to the perfect start, winning their first two games with 6 goals and none conceded.

Before the season started, many felt like Klopp's side were the closest rivals to Pep's Manchester City after strengthening their squad in key areas during the summer.

After wins against West Ham and Crystal Palace it certainly looks like Liverpool will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season - but do they really have what it take to go all the way?

We look at five reasons why The Reds are genuine title contenders and have their best chance of a league trophy in 28 years.

Their goalkeeper issues look well and truly solved

Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker [COURTESY]

2 games, 2 clean sheets.

It may not say a lot given that they came against West Ham and Crystal Palace, but make no mistake, Monday night's trip to Selhurst Park was the first real test for Alisson, and he passed with flying colours.

Against a physical Palace side, the former world's most expensive keeper was assured and confident catching crosses, and his calmness under pressure was evident for all to see.

That's not to mention his distribution, which was excellent, picking out passes and launching counter-attacks like a cultured central midfielder.

It might still be (very) early in the season, but Alisson already looks well worth every penny of his fee.

Stability and consistency at the back

Get the latest World Cup news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

Jamie Carragher claimed on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football that Virgil van Dijk can achieve legendary status at Liverpool and go down as the one of the club's greatest ever defenders alongside Alan Hansen.

It's a bold claim, but there's no doubt Van Dijk has significantly improved Liverpool's defence since he joined, with the Reds keeping nine clean sheets out of 16 in the league when the Dutchman has started.

And he was rock solid against Crystal Palace too, winning aerial duel after aerial duel against one of the most physical strikers in the Premier League in Christian Benteke.

But it isn't just Van Dijk who has contributed to Liverpool's newfound form at the back.

Andy Roberston has established himself as one of the best full-backs in the country, while Trent Alexander-Arnold shows more maturity with every game.

Joe Gomez, meanwhile, has also shown that he possesses intelligence, physicality, and real quality on the ball - a rare mix for a centre-back - and looks to have already struck up a budding partnership with Van Dijk at the heart of Liverpool's defence.

That front three

It goes without saying that Liverpool's front three of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are more than capable of winning the league for Klopp.

Despite scoring 32 goals in the Premier League last season - more than any player over a 38 game season - some doubted Salah's ability to recreate his record-breaking form this term.

But if the first two games of the season are anything to go by, the Egyptian clearly isn't suffering from the hangover of last year's achievements, scoring in his first game against West Ham and winning a penalty and assisting Mane in Monday night's win against Crystal Palace.

Then there's the other two; Mane looks even better this season, starting his first two games at a phrenetic pace with three goals, while Roberto Firmino has firmly established himself as Liverpool's out-and-out no.9 after netting 15 Premier League goals last year.

The trio scored a staggering 47 goals in the Champions League last season - itself a record - while Liverpool became the first club in the competition to have three players in double figures for goals.

Taking that form into this season's domestic campaign makes them fearsome title contenders.

Squad depth

It's no secret that it takes a full squad, not just the eleven on the pitch to win a Premier League title.

Manchester City have an embarrassment of riches in every position, but with Liverpool's summer signings Jurgen Klopp also has a deep squad brimming with quality to utilise this season.

Naby Keita has looked outstanding so far - and may go on to be the signing of the window - while highly-rated, former Monaco midfielder Fabinho is yet to make his Premier League debut.

Jordan Henderson didn't start the game against Crystal Palace either, with Klopp opting for Wijnaldum and Milner instead - the latter of whom is enjoying arguably the best form of his career.

Throw into that mix Xherdan Shaqiri and a seemingly fit-again Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana, and Liverpool have their most exciting squad in years.

The belief

Jurgen Klopp wasn't so pleased with the performance even though they won [COURTESY]

All the great Premier League teams of yesteryear - Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea - had the belief that they were good enough to win the league.

That assurance, that confidence that they could swat aside any team in the league, was what made them so formidable, and Klopp's Liverpool also appear to have that air of invincibility about them.

The German may get lauded for his breathless, 'heavy metal' style of football, but Monday night's win against Crystal Palace proved that his team has the DNA to win ugly and find a way to get the job done.

At the end of the season, that may prove to be the most important factor of all.

5 reasons why Liverpool are genuine Premier League title contenders this season

Liverpool have got their Premier League campaign off to the perfect start, winning their first two games with 6 goals and none conceded. 

Before the season started, many felt like Klopp's side were the closest rivals to Pep's Manchester City after strengthening their squad in key areas during the summer. 

After wins against West Ham and Crystal Palace it certainly looks like Liverpool will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season - but do they really have what it take to go all the way? 

We look at five reasons why The Reds are genuine title contenders and have their best chance of a league trophy in 28 years.

 

LATEST STORIES
POPULAR HEADLINES
R.I.P Footballer dies on pitch
R.I.P Footballer dies on pitch
Football 22 hours ago