Sixteen matches toward immortality.
Liverpool is now unbeaten in 22 league matches, and no claims of LiVARpool or xG luck can take much away from that.
The Reds have been dominant, their relentless players focused on the right things and showing insane stamina in making PL opposition miserable.
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Let’s also note that the Reds are likely to be one of the greatest title winners even if they lose a couple matches. Arsenal drew 12 matches during its Invincibles season, so there’s a part of this that feels more about outdoing Man City’s 2017/18.
That’s a conversation for another day, though; Today’s talk is about weighing the challenges associated with the 16 obstacles on the road to an unbeaten league season.
Now these could change a bit as fixtures are rearranged for FA Cup purposes, but this list feels pretty good given the current state of play.
Unranked — Crystal Palace at home (March 21) and Brighton away (April 18) — Both of these dates are very easy on the eyes, but will be moved if Liverpool is alive in the FA Cup.
Currently scheduled for March 21, days before an international break, you’d peg the Palace fixture as a win. If Liverpool or Palace are in the FA Cup, however, and this match is moved elsewhere on the calendar, it becomes more of a challenge.
Same is true for the Brighton away date, which may fall between the UCL quarterfinal second leg and an FA Cup semifinal. Liverpool may be in both competitions.
14. West Ham at home, Feb. 24 — A full six days after the UCL first leg in Madrid, the Reds will be rested enough.
13. Newcastle away, May 17 — If the Reds get to Decision Day needing a draw or better against the Magpies, bring champagne.
12. West Ham away, Jan. 29 — A bit odd because of the rescheduling from the Club World Cup placing this days before a visit from Saints to give the Reds four matches in 12 days.
11. Southampton at home, Feb. 1 — The fourth of those four matches in 12 days.
10. Norwich City away, Feb. 15 — We know Liverpool takes matches one at a time and this one comes on two weeks rest, but there’s always the chance the Reds are a bit ‘off’ with a trip to Atletico Madrid up next.
9. Watford away, Feb. 29 — Leap year vibes. Nigel Pearson‘s men are playing better, but this still feels too much to ask of the Hornets.
8. Burnley at home, April 25 — Like the Brighton match above, this one could be really tough and sandwiched between an FA Cup and Champions League match day….
7. Aston Villa at home, April 11 — If Liverpool gets past Atleti, it will face the Villans between UCL quarterfinal match days.
6. Bournemouth at home, March 7 — Days after the FA Cup fifth round date, the currently-struggling Cherries will hope Liverpool doesn’t have Atleti put away and concerns about the March 11 visit from Diego Simeone’s men for the UCL Round of 16 second leg.
5. Chelsea at home, May 9 — The season’s penultimate fixture comes against a team which challenged the Reds properly at Stamford Bridge. It could also be days after the UCL semifinal second leg.
4. Wolves away, Thursday — Wolves have an extra day’s rest and no FA Cup worries this weekend (though it can be argued neither does Liverpool, with a less-than-meaningful trip to Shrewsbury Town). This is a tough one.
3. Everton away, March 14 — Sandwiched between the UCL second leg v. Atletico Madrid and a possible FA Cup quarterfinal, a derby is a derby and Carlo Ancelotti‘s the top Everton tactician in some time. Jurgen Klopp won’t be goofing around with backups this time, will he?
2. Arsenal away, May 2 — You laugh now, but if the season makes it to Match No. 36, the Gunners will be one of the last three with a chance to defend their status as the last unbeaten team in PL history.
It would be a very live Emirates, and possibly come between the Champions League semifinal legs (We’re also assuming Mikel Arteta continues his steadyinf of the Gunners defense).
1. Man City away, April 4 — Taking place 3-4 days before the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals and on the heels of an international break, it’s the lone date on the calendar that Liverpool won’t be heavy favorites to win.Follow @NicholasMendola