This season’s Premier League is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in years, with the top five separated by just 6 points after 20 games. Liverpool currently sits top on 45 points with surprise package Aston Villa 3 points behind on 42.
Current champions of England and Europe, Manchester City sits in third place with London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham just behind.
With all the top teams dropping points already, the league could be won by the team that finds form and consistency first. Many of the sites on a list with the newest UK bookmakers currently have Manchester City as odds-on favourites at around 8/11, with Liverpool seen as their closest title rivals at 23/10.
Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Tottenham are seen as less likely to have the squad experience to see out a title push and are priced at 15/2, 28/1, and 33/1 respectively. Outside the top five, the odds take a huge leap to 500/1 for Manchester United.
At just over the halfway point and with the majority of teams still facing 18 matches before the end of the season, football fans will be hoping for an exciting run-in.
If all five teams are still in with a shout on Sunday, May 19th, it could make for the best end to a Premier League season ever.
The Season So Far
Liverpool’s season so far has seen them lose only one game and enjoy the best defensive record of any team having conceded just 18 goals from their first 20 games.
An opening day draw with Chelsea was followed up by five wins on the bounce before a rejuvenated Tottenham inflicted their only defeat so far on September 30th. If not for six draws, Liverpool might have found themselves further ahead of the pack.
It is interesting to see that the majority came against teams where a draw could be seen as a decent result. This includes Chelsea, Brighton, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal.
A surprise draw against Luton is the only result this season that Liverpool fans will be disappointed about.
Manchester City has drawn four and lost three with key players like De Bruyne and Haaland missing key matches through injury. Likewise, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Aston Villa have also had inconsistent spells that have made the league so enjoyable for sports fans.
Why Liverpool Have a Chance
The top reason that Liverpool have a chance of winning this season is because of Mohamed Salah.
The talented Egyptian has found the net 14 times in the Premiership from 20 games. This puts him joint top of the goalscoring table with Erling Haaland, with both enjoying 63% shot accuracy.
His 14 goals in 20 games works out at 125 minutes per goal, but it is not just his goalscoring that makes him so important to Liverpool’s title challenge. He is also joint top of the assist charts on 8 with Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins: Salah has so far created 39 chances for his teammates this season.
Liverpool is blessed with talent throughout their squad with Alisson Becker in goal, Trent Alexander Arnold and Virgil van Dijk in defense, and a whole host of talented midfield and forward players including Cody Gakpo, Darwin, Nunez, Diego Jota, Mac Allister, and many more.
Liverpool’s Main Challengers to the Premier League Title
Even if Liverpool hits a patch of form, there are still a lot of talented Premier League teams that will be able to keep up with them. These include:
As the current European and English champions, Manchester City are Liverpool’s biggest title rivals. Questionable recent form and surprising results for Pep Guardiola’s men can be put down to the missing duo of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne.
Despite missing a few games, Haaland is still joint top scorer with Salah on 14 goals. Unlike Salah, Haaland has only needed 15 games for his 14 goals, resulting in a 0.97 goals-per-game ratio.
One player who has stepped up and taken his chance in the absence of De Bruyne and Haaland is Julian Alvarez.
The talented 23-year-old Argentinian has been deployed as an attacking midfielder and second striker. His 6 goals and 6 assists in 19 games is equal to Bukayo Saka’s contributions for Arsenal this season.
Kevin De Bruyne is arguably one of the best midfielders in the world and has been a huge loss to City this season. He lasted just over 20 minutes in their opening game against Burnley and hasn’t featured since. He is ready to return now though, which will be great news for City fans.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal came close last season and following the addition of Declan Rice, they look like they could challenge again this season.
Arsenal’s midfield is their strength, with Rice joined by Saka, Ødegaard, Martinelli, Havertz, and Trossard.
Gabriel Jesus’s fitness struggles have given Nketiah a chance, but a lack of depth up front and indecision around their number 1 goalkeeper between Raya and Ramsdale could prove costly.
Unai Emery has been a miracle worker at Aston Villa since taking over from Steven Gerrard. Ollie Watkins’s form with 9 goals and 8 assists has been instrumental for a side that many expected to drop off before now.
Douglas Luiz, Moussa Diaby, and John McGinn have created a solid midfield that has had a huge influence on their current position.
Ange Postecoglu’s apparent Tottenham revolution seemed to lose pace, but they are still in with a shout. Fans have enjoyed his attacking football and mildly amusing press conferences, but it is points on the board that count.
He proved with Celtic’s frankly embarrassing European form that not being able to defend will cost you in the long run, and this could be his downfall at Tottenham.
Liverpool have a great chance of winning the Premier League this season, but Manchester City’s returning stars could make it more difficult.
Add to that the loss of Mo Salah to the African Cup of Nations, and January and February will be a crucial time for the Anfield team.