In the lead up to the 2022/23 season, if you were to ask most Premier League fans and pundits, they would say that the title race was going to come down to two teams. Those two clubs were Manchester City and Liverpool, who have been a model of consistency and excellence for a number of years.
And while it appears as though they will be proven correct with respect to the Sky Blues – who are on track to win their seventh league title in 12 years – that isn’t the case for Jurgen Klopp’s men. After a poor start to their campaign in which they failed to secure a win in their opening three fixtures, Mohamed Salah and company notched up their maiden victory of the season in style with a record-setting 9-0 thumping of Bournemouth at home.
They followed that up with a 2-1 triumph over Newcastle United – ensuring that in the space of a fortnight – Liverpool’s tilt at a second league title in three years was back on track. However, they were unable to capitalise on their uptick in form and experienced another three-game stretch without a win against Everton, Brighton and league-leaders Arsenal shortly thereafter.
As a result, to many people’s surprise, the Merseyside club found themselves floundering in the bottom half of the table. That level of inconsistency plagued them right up until early April, as periods of success would be immediately followed with even longer periods of disappointment.
With that being said, since the acquisition of World Cup breakout star Cody Gakpo earlier this year, Liverpool’s play has improved noticeably.
That has been evidenced by their form since April 17, with Liverpool having gone ona sublime run of form that includes seven straight wins. It’s not just the results that have impressed, it’s the manner in which they have achieved them and who they’ve beaten throughout that time that has them within arm’s length of a top four finish with just two games remaining (at the time of writing).
They will need to win out and have some results go their way if they’re to secure a Champions League spot for next season – however – if there is a team you don’t want to write off, it’s Liverpool. But it’s worth asking, if the Reds aren’t to secure a top four spot, given the lofty expectations heading into this season, should their campaign be considered a failure?
That could be seen as harsh by many people, but this squad is too experienced and talented to finish outside the top four. Couple that with the fact they were beaten by a combined margin of four goals across two legs of their Round of 16 Champions League match-up with Real Madrid, and it’s been somewhat of a season to forget for the men in red.
In spite of that, they have shown their championship grit at the business end of the Premier League season, and if they can defy the premier league betting odds and secure a berth in Europe’s top competition next season, it will right the wrongs of an otherwise inconsistent campaign.