Monday, June 27, 2022

Liverpool Have Taken The Title Race Down To The Wire: They Need A ‘Small’ Favour From A Legend

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

The quadruple dream was thought to be all but over when Jurgen Klopp fielded a second-string squad against Southampton at St Mary’s. Liverpool were heading into their 61st game of the season and the first-team stars deserved some breathing time following a gruelling 120 minutes of football on Saturday evening.

Although the FA Cup celebration was cut short due to fixture congestion, the Reds exhibited their sheer professionalism by scripting yet another comeback win on the road. Klopp fielded a starting XI full of fringe names who hardly had minutes of late. Liverpool lost the rhythm temporarily following Nathan Redmond’s early goal, but their fighting spirit has now taken the title race down to the wire even though Manchester City are outright favourites to clinch the silverware.

Having said that, a late drama might still change everything on Sunday afternoon. The Citizens have not choked a title race before in the final gameweek and the tradition of 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2018-19 should continue by defeating Aston Villa at the Etihad in a must-win battle. The Liverpool fans are counting on a miracle from Steven Gerrard, the current Villa boss, who could finally win the coveted crown for his boyhood side in the most dramatic manner.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp with skipper Jordan Henderson
Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates with Liverpool’s English midfielder Jordan Henderson (L) at the end of the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on May 17, 2022. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

How Realistic It Is For Villa To Stun The Champions

Meanwhile, Villa’s form against the ‘top four’ does not suggest so. They have been largely inconsistent, also the frailty in the defensive third refrained them from grinding out results against the heavyweights. Moreover, the Villans have a trip to Turf Moor on Thursday night as are they set to lock horns with Burnley who are fighting for their top-flight survival. The fixture against the Clarets would demand physicality and aggression, something that should benefit City in addition to their routine superiority over Gerrard’s juggernaut.

Why Liverpool Won’t Give Up

Yet it’s not over till it’s over. Liverpool must defeat Wolves at Anfield this weekend but, at the same time, work on having their injured players back on the pitch before facing Real Madrid in the Champions League final. The tie against the Wanderers should be considered as the final preparation for the Blancos clash, however, the Liverpool fans across the globe would scroll through the news feed and live commentary of the City game with hope in their hearts.

Irrespective of the Premier League fortune, the Merseysiders have exceeded all expectations by staying relevant in all competitions. They have already completed the league double and a small favour of fortune might see them achieve the ‘unthinkable’.

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