Liverpool have 17 games remaining before they could complete the league season unbeaten and match Arsenal’s Invincibles, but in truth they’re only at risk in a handful. Most Arsenal fans do not want Liverpool to emulate our achievement, but it is very likely to happen.
The Anfield men have beasted the league so far, with 20 wins from 21 matches, to sit 14 points ahead of defending champions Manchester City with a game in hand. Jurgen Klopp’s side is now unbeaten in the league in over a calendar year and would most likely better Arsenal’s 2003-2004 record, as the Gunners drew 12 games. Liverpool look sure to win more than Arsenal’s 26.
But a significant factor has gone unnoticed: Liverpool have gone the whole of the last two seasons unbeaten at Anfield. Their last home league defeat was the 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace in April 2017. Why would this formidable Liverpool team lose any of their remaining home games? I can’t see it happening.
Liverpool demolish everything in their wake at Anfield. Their home crowd is deeply behind the team and the increased capacity has made the volume noticeably louder. Away teams are trampled underfoot by the entire experience. So that immediately appears to rule out much risk of defeat in half of Liverpool’s remaining games. Only nine of their final 17 matches are away. Liverpool winning the league unbeaten suddenly feels very real.
There is basic risk. Every match starts 0-0 and every result has to be achieved by every team, good or bad, hence there is inherent risk for Liverpool in every match. They still have to turn up and be this brilliant team that they’re being lauded for.
The pressure of genuinely closing in on an epic achievement could yet weigh heavy. They are sure to be vulnerable at times, as they’re unlikely to steamroller every side and they can’t always rely on early goals or favourable VAR decisions. Could they wilt if key players like Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane got bad injuries after the transfer window ended?
There will also always be opponents in the run-in that are desperate to achieve something good or avoid something bad, but only about six of Liverpool’s remaining matches look to carry genuine risk of ending their unbeaten run and crushing their chance to emulate Arsenal’s Invincibles.
Liverpool’s remaining away games are: Wolves, West Ham, Norwich, Watford, Everton, Man City, Brighton, Arsenal and Newcastle. You can make up your own mind over the risks involved there, with some matches coming before or after Champions League games too, but here are two key landmarks to consider.
Arsenal’s Invincibles went 49 games unbeaten. Liverpool are currently 38 league games without defeat, with 17 unbeaten in 2018-19 after the 2-1 defeat at Man City last January followed by the 21 without loss so far this season. Liverpool’s 49th game is Man City away again. If City can’t beat them, Liverpool’s penultimate away game is Arsenal. We might be our own best and last remaining hope.
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