They’re 14 points clear of Leicester, 13 ahead of Manchester City: the chances are that Liverpool are going to win their first league title in 30 years. But nothing is certain in this world, and they could still make a mess of things: here are a few things that could go wrong and cause them to fall…
A fairly prosaic one to start, but any season could be derailed by the wrong player falling foul to injury. Liverpool clearly have a terrific squad and would be able to absorb most having a month or two out, but what if Andrew Robertson’s knee goes tomorrow? Or Virgil van Dijk does something unfortunate to his ankle? Or Roberto Firmino breaks a leg? Fabinho being out for six weeks or so was spoken of in some quarters with such solemn tones that you would’ve been forgiven for thinking he had passed on, so imagine the reaction if Mo Salah did his ACL in.
Liverpool are currently in the middle of an absolutely insane run of fixtures which will see them play 14 games in around 42 days (depending on when their FA Cup third round is), with no more than four days rest between each, usually two or three and then of course there’s the Carabao Cup/World Club Cup split squad farrago. That sort of run will have even the fittest and energetic players begging for a lie down on a big sofa with a blanket and a DVD of Love Actually, never mind having to maintain title-winning pace.
More bone-headed at crucial moments
Ultimately he got away with it, because Liverpool beat Brighton anyway, but who knows what Alisson was thinking when he punched the ball five yards outside the area – something that, if you’ll all check your rulebooks, goalkeepers are famously not allowed to do – and got himself sent off. Even the brains of the best can be frazzled sometimes, and if it happens at some sort of key moment, it could prove costly.