Liverpool have been tagged “nearly men” for the past few years, coming close to winning the premier league title twice – under Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers. However, both teams lost out to the Manchester clubs, being able to only come second.
This season however, Liverpool seem to have turned the tide. The Jurgen Klopp tutored side have conceded just six goals all season – boasting the best defence in the Premier league. They are also the only unbeaten side in the Premier League, with most of their losses coming in the Champions League.
Liverpool fans haven’t been this optimistic about winning the title in years. While many pundits see Manchester City as overwhelming favourites, Liverpool have shown they have the ability to give Manchester City a run for their money. While Liverpool’s success can be deemed to be a team effort, three players have been crucial to Liverpool’s title challenge this season.
- ALISSON BECKER
When Alisson was bought for a then record fee for a goalkeeper, a lot of people raised eyebrows as to whether or not it was a good deal. Many saw the position as an important one to fill,considering the errors of Loris Karius in the Champions League final in June. Alisson has proven to be worth the fee, with his ability to start play from the back, as well as having proper command of his area. While it might be too early to judge whether or not he is the best goalkeeper in the premier league, it is easy to say he is on his way to being amongst the world’s best.
2.VIRGIL VAN DIJK
Virgil Van Dijk’s signing has to rank among the best transfers by a Liverpool manager in recent years. The Dutch captain’s ability to control the defence and his partnership with Joe Gomez has helped Liverpool maintain a solid backline. The defender has had the most cleansheets ever since he signed for Liverpool in January, confirming Jurgen Klopp’s initial decision to wait after being unable to sign him last summer.
3. MOHAMMED SALAH
The Egyptian, who was crowned the BBC African Player of the year for the second year in a row, adding to the number of individual awards he has won in the last one year. Last season, he banged in 44 goals in all competitions, and also broke the record number of goals in a 38 PL season with 32 goals. This season however, many have wondered whether or not he can replicate last season’s form. But with 4 goals in his last two games – against Bournemouth and Napoli, Salah seems to be getting back to his goal scoring best once again. He does need to start performing better in big matches – where the title would most likely be lost or won.
While the Premier league season is still far from its end, it won’t be out of place to state that both Manchester City and Liverpool are front runners, and a slip up from Manchester City especially, could see Liverpool just take advantage.