There has no doubt that 2020 has been an incredible year for Liverpool Football Club. Not only has the club won the Champions League, the European Super Cup and been crowned the FIFA Club World Cup Champions in Qatar, but since the 1st January 2019, they have lost just once in the Premier League, to the team that pipped them to the title last season, Manchester City.
Not only that, but they have produced some of the most incredible moments of the past year too, notably coming back from 3-0 down from the first leg against Barcelona in the Champions League semifinal, to beat the Catalan giants, Lionel Messi and all, 4-0 at Anfield in the return leg to earn a place in the final in Madrid. Where they beat Tottenham 2-0 to claim their sixth Champions League trophy.
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This season, the Reds have already claimed two trophies and earned the right to call themselves the best club side in world football with their win in Qatar. They are in the knockout stage of the Champions League having won their group and face local rivals Everton in an FA Cup third round tie this coming weekend. However, it is their incredible start to the Premier League season with 17 wins and a draw from their first 18 games, which has been most amazing and delighted Reds fans across the globe.
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With Liverpool fans desperate to end their long wait for a league title, their last coming back in 1990, will 2020 be the year when Liverpool finally end their wait to lift the league once again? And could they even go one further and claim yet more trophies over the remainder of the season?
In this article, we are going to take a look at their chances in each of the three main competitions remaining. Liverpool were eliminated by Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup at the quarterfinal stage after having to field an Under 23 team for the game, due to the first team being in Qatar to compete for the Club World Cup.
Liverpool sit at the top of the Premier League having played a game less than all the other teams in the division (bar West Ham) after their game with the Hammers was cancelled due to their participation in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar. That game will be played midweek in late January but even though they have played a game less, the Reds position in the table has strengthened over the festive period.
Wins over second-placed Leicester away from home (a 4-0 demolition) and a narrow 1-0 win over 7th placed Wolves at Anfield means that while the Reds picked up maximum points, their closest rivals faltered. Leicester drawing with Norwich before being beaten by Man City and Liverpool and then reclaiming a win away to West Ham. Man City did beat Arsenal and Leicester, but then lost away to Wolves before beating Sheffield United at home.
The upshot of this is that Liverpool now have a 13 point lead over Leicester, 14 point lead over Manchester City and also have a game in hand on both. They have also beaten the second-placed team in the Premier League home and away this season heading into the second half of the season.
Only Manchester United, thanks to a somewhat fortuitous 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, have managed to take any points from Liverpool over the first half of the season and if the second half of the campaign goes as the first half has, then Liverpool could well have the title wrapped up by the end of March or early April.
The Reds are now a staggering 1/20 with bet365 Sport to win the league title after the games on the final weekend of 2020, with Manchester City the next best odds at 14/1.
Currently, bet365 have listed Liverpool as the 6/1 second favourites behind Manchester City to win the FA Cup this season and there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly Man City have a much easier third round tie, as they face Port Vale at home, while Liverpool face a very tough task against their local rivals Everton, who now have Carlo Ancelotti in charge.
Ancelotti’s former club Napoli are the only team to have beaten a first-team Liverpool this season after a 2-0 win in the San Paolo in the Champions League Group Stages and they also earned a point at Anfield in a 1-1 draw. Everton fans will be hoping he can continue to be a thorn in Liverpool’s side here, although the Reds do have home advantage for the game.
After that, the luck of the draw will determine how Liverpool’s chance stand if they get past Everton, but with Jurgen Klopp likely to rest a number of key men regardless of the opponent they face, it is hard to see an under-strength Liverpool side making it to the final.
After topping their group, Liverpool were drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 in the Champions League and will head back to the Wanda Metropolitano, scene of their Champions League Final victory in June, to face Atletico in the first leg on Tuesday 18th February.
Atletico are one of the biggest teams left in the competition and it is a tough draw for Liverpool, but one that the Reds, if they play their best, should be confident of doing well in. Atletico’s record against English sides at home isn’t the best and that will niggle them against a Liverpool side that have reached the final of this competition in each of the last two seasons.
If the Reds can get past Atletico then it is an open draw for the remainder of the competition and that means games against other English opponents, or familiar rivals like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris St Germain, Bayern Munich or even Jurgen Klopp’s old team Borussia Dortmund are possible.
The bookies have Manchester City as the 4/1 favourites to win the trophy, with Liverpool 9/2 second favourites, and it does seem to be sensible to suggest City will prioritise this trophy given how far they are behind in the Premier League. However Guardiola’s team have never got past the quarterfinal stage of this competition with the Spaniard as manager and with the likes of Barcelona, PSG, Bayern Munich and Juventus all still in it, it promises to be a close run thing and in truth, I would not rule Liverpool out of this competition over two legs against any team.