The 2020/21 Premier League season was always going to be a strange one. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has actually been the one consistency this season, with the home form of both Liverpool and Everton being anything but consistent.
With the season approaching it’s climax we have a look at the form of Liverpool and Everton and predict where they’ll finish in the table.
Let’s start by looking at the current Premier League Champions, Liverpool. They had six UEFA Champions League trophies in the bag by the end of 2018/2019 campaign and their triumph in the Premier League gave them their 19th English League crown. It also handed them their first Premier League title, doing so in an emphatic fashion. Liverpool were flying high and looked untouchable.
This season, injuries have ravaged the squad. The first major blow being the long lay off of Virgil Van Dijk. However, they’ve had a hug injury list all season which has defintely hindered their campaign. But there seemed to be issues in the Liverpool team even before these injuries. Early on in the season their 7-2 thumping against Aston Villa, a game that Van Dijk played in, was a cause for concern.
From here they shown some inconsistent form, with a couple of impressive displays mixed in, including their 7-0 win over Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the turning point in the season that the fans were hoping for. They’ve looked well off the pace in 2021 and no longer look like a danger to opponents in their current form. Fortress Anfield it is not.
Against the odds?
Unsuprisingley, they find themselves at long odds for a title win at 1000/1. Leicester are more favoured at 250/1, with Manchester Utd at 225/1. But it looks almost impossible to stop a very impressive Manchester City team who are 1/100 on to win on most online bookmakers.
So, can Liverpool turn their form around and finish in the top 4? You can’t rule them out if they can pick up a run of form. Diogo Jota returned to the side recently and has looked like one of their brightest players since signing from Wolves. He could be the difference in a return to form. It could be a tough ask to reach the top 4 with such healthy competition around them though, including of course their neighbours Everton.
The blues have looked somewhat impressive under Carlo Ancelotti this season and we’re starting to get a glimpse of what Everton could be capable of over the next few seasons. And, that’s the key thing here. They’ve looked good at times but they’ve shown far too much inconsistency. The arrival of Columbian superstar James Rodriguez has certainly helped in what was an impressive summer transfer window. The signings of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey have all strengthened the first team but a few more signings are needed.
Everton seem to turn up for the bigger games, such as their victory against Liverpool at Anfield – their first there since 1999. They defended well and were dangerous in fornt of goal. Exactly what Ancelotti wants from his team. However, they have dropped far too many points against teams that they ‘should’ be beating. 6 points dropped against an under par Newcastle side and 4 points dropped against Burnley just isn’t good enough if Everton want Champions League football.
Looking at their upcoming fixtures, they have a reletively good run in of games, ar some tricky ones against Spurs, Aresnal and Man City. But knowing Everton, they’ll slip up against the likes of Brighton. They will have to be on top form from now until the end of the season and hope for some other results to go there way to grab 4th spot. But perhaps they’ll have to settle for the Europa League and continue to strengthen their squad in the summer.
The race is on
So, as we reach the business end of the season, can Everton secure 4th spot or at least Europa League? They stand a good chance but we’re going to call it that they’ll miss out on 4th and instead get 5th. As for Liverpool, they’re going to require a dramatic return to form to get Champions League football. We would never write them off though. Much like their 2005 Istanbul comeback and their more recent Champions League revival against Barca we know they’re capable of anything. They should be playing European football of some kind, but again we think it could be the Europa League they’ll have to settle for.