Manchester City’s jam packed fixture list could prove to be a deciding factor in the Premier League title race – but it could be an advantage for the Etihad side.
Liverpool fans were content with their side being eliminated from the FA Cup after the defeat a Wolves in the third round.
The club’s burning desire to clinch a top flight title for the first time in almost three decades dictated an early exit to be a necessity. This just proves there’s a lack of depth at the club.
Yet, it was seen as a bonus for Jurgen Klopp’s side to have a less congested schedule heading into the business end of the campaign.
In reality, that decision ramped up the pressure on every single league game until May. The players obviously cannot cope with the increased intensity, as the performances in the new year have dropped.
After Klopp’s team recorded back-to-back draws, Manchester City now have the chance to leapfrog the Reds on goal difference if they beat Everton on Wednesday – albeit having played a game more.
However, Liverpool’s game in hand is a clash at Old Trafford with historic rivals Manchester United. Their recent upturn in form makes it all the more difficult.
Squad Depth Advantage
And with a larger squad, more games will prove to be a bonus for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Liverpool cannot cope with fighting on four fronts. The squad depth isn’t adequate. Bobby Firmino was hooked at West Ham for a dire showing, but Divock Origi was his replacement.
City, meanwhile, can take out Sergio Aguero and opt for Gabriel Jesus.
They can do that all over the field – with an exception at left back.
And that’s why more games will be beneficial for City. More games means more chances for their players to stay match fit.
If City were in the same boat as Liverpool, they would be unable to select a match fit player if injuries occurred because there’s less game time.
A far-from match fit Adam Lallana was chosen when Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum were ruled out for Monday night’s game.
In my opinion, he was off the pace. Despite doing a decent job of helping James Milner defensively, he offered little going forward.
Naby Keita tried to be creative and lively, but his lack of game time since returning from injury make it harder for him to be at his best.
A warm weather training camp in Dubai during the middle of winter in England also has to be questioned.
Liverpool haven’t looked fresh or revitalised since they jetted off.
Should they have been resting? Or has taking them out of the cold climate caused issues? Surely it would have better to arrange friendlies and keep the players fresh?
Either way, Liverpool need to shake this slump before all their title chances evaporate.