Top the table at Christmas and win the title come May, so say the pundits. So as Jurgen Klopp looks to add to his medal haul with a Premier League title, we look at Liverpool’s path to the Christmas Break. Upcoming fixtures and how they stack up in the broad spectrum of the field.
Liverpool are second behind Chelsea, but Man City remain betting faves.
But they aren’t the favourites in outright markets, according to bookmakers. That remains the principality of Pep Guardiola’s Citizens, best-priced with Paddy Power at 23/10. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are backed out to 11/4 while Antonio Conte’s Blues are backed out as far as 3 with several bookmakers at the football betting exchange. As far as Arsene Wenger’s Gunners and Mauricio Pochettino’ Spurs are concerned, priced at far flung 13/2 and 20, respectively, they’re barely contenders at the moment.
Suppose, it’s not a snub. Rather it’s just too early to give up on preseason musings that singled out Man City as the team to beat in outright betting markets. After all, the Citizens are in the thick of it, and Klopp’s Reds only just cracked the ceiling with a 6-1 win over Watford – comprehensive though it was, resembling more a set of tennis than a football score, it’s not as if plans for an open top bus parade through the city are being drawn up.
Ownership of top spot doesn’t automatically correlate to a move to the summit of football betting markets. Leicester City know only too well the score. Last term, bookmakers dragged their feet for the longest time before finally conceding the inevitable and installing Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes as the favourites. (They lost a lot of money in the process too).
Leicester City was a unique case that turned Premier League betting on its head. They were the quintessential outsider that few outside of their loyal fan base would have ever considered betting on to win the Premier League title.
Liverpool occupy a different space in the minds of football punters and bookmakers, alike. Make it back to the top of the table come the festive season and bookmakers are bound to follow suit sooner rather than later.
Liverpool upcoming matches are as follows: AFC Bournemouth (away), West Ham United (home), Middlesbrough (away) and Everton (away). Of course, three away matches over this stretch isn’t ideal. The toughest date, arguably, features city rivals Everton. However, nothing can be taken for granted on a trip to Bournemouth – the Cherries have had the measure of a couple of standout clubs already (beating Everton 1-0 and holding Tottenham to a scoreless draw).
Similarly, Middlesbrough can prove a tough nut to crack. Didn’t they just thwart Pep Guardiola’s precious Sky Blues in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad? Earlier they did the same to Arsene Wenger’s precious football baubles in a 0-0 draw at the Emirates.
By comparison, Liverpool’s title rivals appear to have much tougher schedules. Whether that serves to their advantage remains to be seen, but it certainly gives Liverpool some room for optimism.
Chelsea and Man City cross paths in the lead up to Christmas, as do Man City and Arsenal. Tottenham take on Man United too over the course of the coming weeks.
That’s not to overlook campaigns on other fronts. Keep in mind that aside from Chelsea and Liverpool the remaining three title contenders are also competing in European football and with advancement into the knockouts on the line the pressure is only going to mount.
Nothing is ever a given in sport or sport betting. Nor are fixtures played on paper. But one has to admit things do look good for the Reds right now, who are rounding out into fine form and peaking at the perfect time.