All things considered, Liverpool have started the Premier League like potential title winners would have after only suffering one defeat in their opening 11 games. In addition to that, the Reds have racked up the most goals in the league so far after netting 31 which is four more than league leaders Chelsea who have managed 27.
Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s men are exhibiting all the signs of a team that could be crowned champions of England, and anyone searching the latest betting odds Premier League will find the Reds at just 4/1 to win their second title in three seasons. With all of this in mind, you could be forgiven for feeling extremely confident as you make your way to Anfield over the festive season and at the same time thinking that the new year could bring with it another Premier League trophy.
But here’s why you should get into the brace position when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve instead of opening up another bottle of vintage fizz.
FT: Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool pic.twitter.com/VzaFsMSN3c
— GOAL (@goal) October 24, 2021
You may be reading that sentence again just to make sure you’re being advised against prematurely celebrating a league triumph after being presented with all the evidence of why Klopp’s men could end up at the summit of the league in late spring, but the fact of the matter is that January will, in all likelihood, deliver a knockout blow the Reds won’t get up from.
To start with, it is a month that Klopp has historically struggled to get results in since he arrived at the club in 2015. Out of 44 games that Klopp has managed in January since taking over, the German has only managed to win 19 whilst drawing 11 and losing as many as 14. If you crunch the numbers, essentially what this means is that Liverpool haven’t managed to win almost 60 per cent of their games over January since Klopp was appointed.
Now, if that stat isn’t ominous enough, you then have to take into consideration that the club’s current top goal scorers will be away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations for the whole of January. Indeed, Mo Salah will be turning out for Egypt whilst Sadio Mane will play for Senegal and their absence is bound to be keenly felt as the duo have contributed 16 of Liverpool’s 31 Premier League goals this season.
Finally, you have to take into account that the Reds’ toughest fixtures over January will involve two trips to London to play Chelsea and then Crystal Palace. Admittedly, Chelsea’s threat this season is well documented but a special mention must go to Palace who are thriving under the management of Patrick Vieira and who managed to beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in late October. Make no mistake, they will provide an under-strength Liverpool side with a ferocious test at Selhurst Park.
The London ground may just be the venue where Liverpool’s title hopes go up in smoke again as they did in 2014 during a night in south London that the Reds faithful would have tried to banish from memory.
79′: Crystal Palace 0-3 Liverpool
FT: Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool
On this day in 2014, Liverpool let their Premier League title hopes slip away at Selhurst Park pic.twitter.com/pfQOHvGq5H
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 5, 2019
Indeed, given how competitive it is at the top this season and how little margin for error there is, dropping points in London could be all it takes to see Liverpool’s title charge derail once again during the first month of the year.