When Could Liverpool Win The Title?

In my entire adult life I’ve been desperate for Liverpool to win the Premier League. Whilst I’m more than aware that football existed before 1992, I was only ten back then. I’ve never knowingly seen the Reds win the title, so it’s fair to say that I’ve been beaten down by the consistent jibes from friends who support other teams. Having watch us for so long, I’ve become conditioned to see us win every trophy in the most dramatic way possible, as I wrote about last month. Whether it be our win over Arsenal in the FA Cup in 2001, Istanbul or the need for penalties against Cardiff City in the 2012 League Cup final, we’ve never done things the easy way. It’s why I was convinced that we were going to win our first title in 2008-2009, 2013-2014 and then last year. A last-gasp win seemed like the only way Liverpool would know how to win the Premier League, but obviously Jürgen Klopp’s side don’t like obeying history.

It’s certainly fair to say that I didn’t expect our title win to be a procession, yet that’s where we are. Beat Norwich on Saturday and we’ll be twenty-five points clear of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side before they play their rearranged game against West Ham United. Rather than being stressed out about every match we play, worrying about whether we’ll drop points, we’re now mostly all doing sums to figure out when the league will be mathematically won. It’s a remarkable thing, giving Liverpool accounts on social media the opportunity to run polls on where people would like to see us win it. Did any of us older fans imagine it would ever be like this? Runaway leaders in the top-flight, a good chance of defending our Champions League trophy and Chelsea in the FA Cup. We could end the campaign as unbeaten centurions with a treble to our names, not including the two we’ve already won. The question is, when could we win it?

Doing The Maths

It’s a tricky thing to work out when we could win the title because there are so many variables in front of us. The key thing is that we will win it as long as we are victorious in six matches between now and the end of the season. If Manchester City drop points then we’ll need to win even fewer matches to be guaranteed a Jordan Henderson trophy lift, but there’s no way of knowing if that will happen, of course. Here’s a look at our remaining games up against City’s:

Liverpool Fixtures               –      Manchester City Fixtures

  • Norwich City (a)              –      West Ham United (h)
  • West Ham United (h)    –      Leicester City (a)
  • Watford (a)                      –      Arsenal (h) (Postponed)
  • Bournemouth (h)           –      Manchester United (a)
  • Everton (a)                      –      Burnley (h)
  • Crystal Palace (h)          –      Chelsea (a)
  • Manchester City (a)      –      Liverpool (h)
  • Aston Villa (h)               –      Southampton (a)
  • Brighton (a)                   –      Newcastle United (h)
  • Burnley (h)                    –      Brighton (a)
  • Arsenal (a)                     –     Bournemouth (h)
  • Chelsea (h)                    –      Watford (a)
  • Newcastle United (a)   –     Norwich City (h)

Our sixth game from now, then, is Crystal Palace at home. That is, of course, assuming that we get knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea. If we don’t then the quarter-finals will be that weekend, meaning our game at the Etihad becomes the sixth. Whether we can keep winning until then is a different question, however, especially with both Everton and Carlo Ancelotti likely to be desperate to stop us from doing it at Goodison Park. City, meanwhile, have to play Leicester City at the King Power and Manchester United at Old Trafford, meaning that if we keep winning then we could end up confirming the title when we’re not even playing.

What’s The Most Likely Match To Win It?

With City’s home game against Arsenal postponed because of the League Cup final, that complicates things further. I’m going to put my neck on the lines here and make some predictions. We currently need ninety-one points to guarantee the title, so how does that change with my predictions?

Liverpool Game Predicted Result City Game Predicted Result Liverpool Points City Points Difference Points Remaining For City
Norwich (a) Draw West Ham (h) Win 74 54 20 36
West Ham (h) Win Leicester City (a) Draw 77 55 22 33
Watford (a) Win No Match N/A 80 55 25 33
Bournemouth (h) Win Manchester United (a) Win 83 58 25 30
Everton (a) Draw Burnley (h) Win 84 61 23 27
Crystal Palace (h) Win Chelsea (a) Lose 87 61 26 24

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’d be willing to stake my life on the maths I’ve done there. That’s to say nothing of a lack of confidence in my predictions. The beauty of football, of course, is that unexpected results come at you when you’re least expecting them. My prediction of a draw against Norwich at the weekend is based on the fact that they’ve played well at home against big teams and the winter break means that we’ll be out of rhythm, something that we know Jürgen Klopp’s side have struggled with in the past.

Likewise my draw against Everton might surprise a few, but I think Ancelotti’s got them playing well and both he, the players and fans will put their everything into that match. Perhaps my prediction of a loss for City against Chelsea will raise a few eyebrows, but that very much fits into the category of defeats coming when you least expect them. I think City will do well in the closing stages of the season because Pep Guardiola will have had this break to work with his players, but ultimately they’ll simply run out of road.

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