Liverpool could now have significant advantage in title battle with Arsenal and Man City

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool, acknowledges the fans after the team's victory in the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 first leg match between AC Sparta Praha and Liverpool FC at Letna Stadium on March 07, 2024 in Prague, Czech Republic. 


It’s only a small lead, but it could be significant for Liverpool in the title race.


Jurgen Klopp’s side hold a two-point lead over Arsenal and three over champions Manchester City as the title race enters the final lap with nine games to go. Liverpool’s goal difference is also five better than City’s and the Reds have a tiny bit of breathing space on their Manchester rivals.


This could be crucial for Liverpool because in their defeats to City in the title races of 2019 and 2022, they were behind at this stage. In 2022, they did brilliantly to reduce the gap on City to just a point and in 2019, they drew twice in the run-in to allow the Blues to triumph.


This season is significant and Liverpool have only been ahead of City at this stage under Klopp in 2020, when they walked the league. Zoom out from the mathematics of the title race, and Liverpool are slowly getting their injured players back.


Curtis Jones should return for Thursday’s clash at home to Sheffield United and Andy Robertson should not be far behind, if at all. Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota are yet to return, but finally the Reds are looking strong again and have multiple options off the bench.


Mohamed Salah is finally back to full match fitness after two-and-a-half months missing because of the Africa Cup of Nations and two hamstring injuries. Salah is back among the goals and has netted three times and contributed three assists in his last three games.


This is a pivotal week for Liverpool’s title hopes and Klopp has begun it by registering his first win over Roberto De Zerbi at the fifth attempt. The Blades are next up at Anfield and then it is Sunday’s huge clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.


Liverpool committed many sins when they lost an FA Cup tie at Old Trafford they should have won last month and they must make sure history does not repeat itself. United saved their season by winning in the FA Cup and throwing a spanner in the works of their fiercest rivals would also delight their fans.


They have form too and their goalless draw in February 2019 contributed to Liverpool’s title defeat to City. Another draw could also prove costly on Sunday and they have lost their last two trips to Old Trafford.


But Klopp knows how to win there and scored nine goals in two league visits in 2021, including the club’s record win at Old Trafford of 5-0. Other hurdles remain for Liverpool and the form book suggests Everton at Goodison Park on April 24 will not be easy.


Liverpool have won just one of their last six trips across Stanley Park and, again, draws could prove decisive in this tightest of title races. Then there is Tottenham at Anfield on May 4 and Spurs’ draw in this fixture in 2022 contributed to Liverpool’s title loss to City.


There is still much for Liverpool to do, but they have been rarely better placed to do it.

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