It is not unreasonable to say that, barring long-term injuries to multiple major players, the Premier League title could be decided on Thursday.
Don’t hate the player, hate the games (this week), as Spurs and Man City faltered while Liverpool continued to dominate its opposition.
[ MORE: Kompany ready for Liverpool ]
So while the Reds look upon a seven-point table lead and pretend they haven’t thought about red ribbons on the Premier League trophy — hilarious, right?!? — let’s eyeball the other important mile markers if Liverpool is to claim its first English top-flight crown since 1989-90.
1, 2, 3, and 4) Manchester City v. Liverpool, 3 p.m. ET Thursday, NBCSN
The question here is whether Jurgen Klopp will play it just a bit safer as he did at Anfield earlier this year when Pep Guardiola made adjustments to the Reds’ press. The attack-forward manager really only needs a draw for his title hopes to become very likely, and even he will be tempted to keep some of the proverbial horses in the stable at the Etihad Stadium.
If Liverpool wins, opening up a 10-point lead on City and a minimum 9-point lead on the rest of the field, we can begin to heap shovelfuls of dirt on City’s reign.
5) Manchester United v. Liverpool, 9:05 a.m. ET Feb. 24
Five days after Liverpool hosts Bayern Munich, the Reds will have to turn their attention to a rested Manchester United (The Red Devils’ UEFA Champions League first leg with PSG in Feb. 12). It will also be at minimum a few weeks since United’s presumed new pieces will have began to settle into life at Old Trafford.
6) Everton v. Liverpool, March 2
A prolonged FA Cup run aside, the Merseyside Derby will likely be the lone focus of Marco Silva‘s Everton. The Toffees hung tough with the Reds before Jordan Pickford‘s stoppage time error sprung three points into Liverpool’s account.
7) Liverpool v. Chelsea, April 13
We’ve skipped the Spurs match for now given the North London side’s problems with the Reds in a loss at Wembley and the Anfield status of the second match.
Should the Reds get past Bayern Munich (and Chelsea stay alive in the Europa League), this match takes place between legs of the Champions League quarterfinals. Tricky.
8) Liverpool v. Wolves, May 12
The Reds may’ve just played a UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg a few days prior, but all bodies will want on the field for the final match of the PL season. Nerves will be jangly if it isn’t coronation, and Wolves did not lay down for the Reds at the Molineux earlier this month.’