What’s wrong with Liverpool? There’s good and bad news for Jurgen Klopp as he tries to straighten out the club’s title defense: It’s all in their heads.
This is not simply about unquantifiable concepts — we’ve got numbers — but the truth of the matter is this: While the Reds have been on a miserable run in terms of scoring and results, this year’s current fourth-place side simply isn’t much different than the team than the teams that won the Champions League and Premier League in consecutive seasons.
Now this also means demanding a measure of humility from fans, players, pundits, and even Klopp when peering back toward the two previous magical seasons for the Anfield set.
The 53-year-old Klopp has a knack for being dismissive — like when he refused to admit the Reds were going to clinch the league until they, well, clinched the league — and perhaps his candid and quotable response when asked Thursday about winning the league may be a sign that he’s about to circle the wagons and try to remount the “No one believes in us” surge.
“Look, how silly would that be if I sit here now, losing against Burnley, didn’t score for the last three or four games – I don’t know exactly – and now I talk about the title race? How silly would that be? It’s just we have to win football games – it was always like this. For this we have to score goals, there is no doubt about it. That’s what we have to change and have to do better. If things don’t work, you have to work harder, do the right things more often, longer and more consistent, all these kind of things. But not talking like it is an easy situation, it’s not. It shows a lot of things. It’s incredible how consistent the boys were but that was never something that anybody should have taken for granted because now we see they are all human beings, that’s how it is. And now I have to make clear about what we have to do in the right moments and then we will score goals again.”
And they will. No one is expecting this team to bounce out of the title race completely or sit on the fringes of the top four discussion, but we’ve got three key points to argue that say the following:
If you believed Liverpool were title contenders last season, then you shouldn’t be bailing on them now.
1. Past perception doesn’t guarantee future results
Forgive the legal disclaimer-like title, but this is a really good place to start or finish: Liverpool’s incredible 2019-20 season gave them a thoroughly-deserved Premier League title as the league’s best team.
But the gap between the Reds and the field is, was, and always will be bit of a mirage. Jurgen Klopp knew his Reds weren’t 18 points better than Man City and the analytics field nodded in agreement.
Now feel free to argue that expected goals are goofy and you hate them because your gut tells you that 2019-20 Liverpool is simply the best ever. Gutalytics over analytics.
2018-19 goal difference v. expected goal difference (Understat.com)
1. Man City — +72 GD, +68 xGD
2. Liverpool — +67 GD, +70 xGD
3. Tottenham — +28 GD, +13 xGD
4. Chelsea — +24 GD, +26 xGD
5. Arsenal — +22 GD, +8 xGD
6. Man United — +11 GD, +16 xGD
2019-20 goal difference v. expected goal difference (Understat.com)
1. Man City — +67 GD, +65 GD
2. Liverpool — +52 GD, +36 xGD
3. Man United — +30 GD, +28 xGD
4. Chelsea — +26 GD, +35 xGD
Here are the Premier League leaders in goal difference over the past two seasons, when Man City pipped Liverpool to the 2018-19 crown by one point before Liverpool ran away with the 2019-20 campaign.
Notice anything? In most of those cases, the actual GD isn’t too far off from the amount of high-probability chances the top teams produced on the field. When Liverpool fans argue that their team was actually better but lost in 2018-19, they have a case to make.
Last year, however…
Perhaps one of the reasons so much was made of the “Mentality Monster” line from Klopp was that as the Reds rescued wins from draws and draws from losses, they were often failing the eye test until the final, smallest letters were on the line.
When Liverpool beat Chelsea 5-3 late last season, the Reds produced 1.45 expected goals to the Blues’ 2.38. When they beat Man City 3-1 in November, they produced 1.33 xG to City’s 1.48. And they’re 2-1 win at Chelsea in September? xG has it as 1.23-1.03 to the Blues.
Now Chelsea and Man City happened to be two of the least fortunate chance finishers in the league, and that shouldn’t add credit to their actual point total nor should it detract from Liverpool’s total.
But maybe the Mentality Monster line is a convenient and fun way to label an unparalleled run of turning four-star leftovers into a five-star meal.
One other thing: Liverpool’s earned five penalties and conceded six this season, making all five of theirs while opponents have converted only three of six. Last season they won five and conceded one. The year before? 7-1.
Probably not the prime item to complain about, but the Reds numbers are being buoyed a bit by getting to the spot. And it takes work to get to the spot, but keep it in mind.
1. Liverpool — 99 points, 74.28 xPTS
2. Man City — 81 points, 86.76 xPTS
3. Chelsea — 66 points, 73.49 xPTS
4. Manchester United — 66 points, 70.99 xPTS
Some more stats here, and yes they feed off of the first batch a little bit.
Maybe this is a case for mentality, that Liverpool has finished chances that most teams wouldn’t be expected to finish and that they just “find a way.”
But if that’s the case, then perhaps there is a real reason to worry about how they look this year, when they are still behind City’s league-leading xPTS but still ahead of Chelsea and Man United… but in fourth on the real table. They aren’t finding the magical overachieving recipe.
Instead, we’d rather argue that the overachieving but deserving champions are underachieving and being kept in the title race by others not taking advantage. And that’s not only fine, it’s reason to — at worst — expect them to finish second to City.
2. Oh my goals
If you want to understand the bewildered vibes coming out of Klopp and the Anfield set, have we got some stats for you.
OptaJoe is delivering the goods, statistically speaking, regarding this crazy goalless run for Liverpool.
For one thing, Liverpool hadn’t gone four league games without scoring since May 2000.
And for Klopp, wow. He hasn’t overseen four-straight zeroes on his scorecard since his Mainz side did so in the Bundesliga, between November and December 2006.
We chose open play because penalties are imperfect and set pieces not always the best barometer for separating good from bad teams.
So here’s the thing: Virgil van Dijk is injured. Thiago Alcantara is just finding his form after loads of injuries. And Mohamed Salah just isn’t on his A-game in terms of finishing or luck….
… And Liverpool is right in the ballpark when it comes to producing chances and denying goals. In fact, the Reds are defending better than last year.
Again… there’s more to this than no luck this year and immense luck last year, but we hope you’re getting the picture.
3. Something’s up with Klopp
As Jurgen Klopp fired down the tunnel after Sean Dyche, seemingly because the Burnley boss said something under his breath, there was reason to wonder how the Liverpool boss’ rage was so high. Did Dyche insult his ancestors? Did he compliment Chris Wilder?
There’s one area that will catch you side eye, evil eye, and force a new and angry eye to grow out of the back of a Liverpool supporter’s head: Tell them Jurgen Klopp has something to fix about his methods.
The managerial genius — and that’s not sarcastic — has earned relatively undying love from his fans for turning marginal players into contributors, contributors into stars, and stars into megawatt supernovas.
But his attitude seems off this year, and not in any sort of intentional way. Maybe it’s that we’re seeing him lose and draw more, reacting to fortune going the way of the opponent, but a list of Klopp post-game and midweek targets this year include:
And keep in mind they’ve been in first or second after 12 of 19 matchdays, and none of their losses are to a traditional big six side.
So while we don’t know what Klopp is saying behind the scenes, we know that plenty of people get their messaging from his public comments and players can’t completely dodge them either.
Again, Klopp is a genius. But it seems that perhaps doing a hard reset back to the “We’re fine and we’ll be fine and we’re only going to worry about ourselves” of yesteryear would be a welcome drop of the needle on Klopp’s Greatest Hits.
Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.
Will Manchester City win yet another Premier League title? Can Arsenal push them all the way? Will Chelsea and Liverpool recover to finish in the top four? Can Manchester United’s new-look side surge into the title race? What about Tottenham? How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package?
Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.
While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.
The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.
The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.
When will the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?
When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?
The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?
These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
2:45pm: AFC Bournemouth v Brighton
2:45pm: Leeds v Nottingham Forest
2:45pm: Leicester vs Aston Villa
3pm: Chelsea vs Liverpool
Wednesday 5 April
3pm: Man United v Brentford
3pm: West Ham v Newcastle
Saturday 8 April
7:30am: Man Utd v Everton
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Brentford v Newcastle
Fulham v West Ham
Leicester v AFC Bournemouth
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Chelsea
12:30pm: Southampton v Man City
Sunday 9 April
9am: Leeds v Crystal Palace
11:30am: Liverpool v Arsenal
Saturday 15 April
7:30am: Aston Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Fulham
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v AFC Bournemouth
Wolves v Brentford
12:30pm: Man City v Leicester
Sunday 16 April
9am: West Ham v Arsenal
11:30am: Nottingham Forest v Man Utd
Monday 17 April
3pm: Leeds v Liverpool
Friday 21 April
3pm: Arsenal v Southampton
Saturday 22 April
7:30am: Fulham v Leeds
Brentford v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Everton
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Sunday 23 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
9am: Newcastle v Spurs
Postponed due to European action
Man Utd v Chelsea
Brighton v Man City
Tuesday 25 April
2:30pm: Wolves v Crystal Palace
2:45pm: Aston Villa v Fulham
2:45pm: Leeds v Leicester
Wednesday 26 April
2:30pm: Nottingham Forest v Brighton
2:45pm: Chelsea v Brentford
2:45pm: West Ham v Liverpool
3pm: Man City v Arsenal
Thursday 27 April
2:45pm: Everton v Newcastle
2:45pm: Southampton v AFC Bournemouth
3:15pm: Spurs v Man Utd
Saturday 29 April
7:30am: Crystal Palace v West Ham
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
12:30pm: Arsenal v Chelsea
Sunday 30 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v Leeds
9am: Fulham v Man City
9am: Man Utd v Aston Villa
9am: Newcastle v Southampton
11:30am: Liverpool v Spurs
Monday 1 May
3pm: Leicester v Everton
Wednesday 3 May
3pm: Liverpool v Fulham
3pm: Man City v West Ham
Thursday 4 May
3pm: Brighton v Man Utd
Saturday 6 May
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Spurs v Crystal Palace
Wolves v Aston Villa
12:30pm: Liverpool v Brentford
Sunday 7 May
9am: Man City v Leeds* subject to possible Champions League schedule
11:30am: Newcastle v Arsenal
2pm: West Ham v Man Utd
Monday 8 May
10am: Fulham v Leicester
12:30pm: Brighton v Everton
3pm: Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Saturday 13 May
Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Liverpool
Man Utd v Wolves
Southampton v Fulham
Saturday 20 May
AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd
Brighton v Southampton
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Spurs v Brentford
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Everton
Sunday 28 May
16:00 Arsenal v Wolves
16:00 Aston Villa v Brighton
16:00 Brentford v Man City
16:00 Chelsea v Newcastle
16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
16:00 Everton v AFC Bournemouth
16:00 Leeds v Spurs
16:00 Leicester v West Ham
16:00 Man Utd v Fulham
16:00 Southampton v Liverpool
Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?
As we head into the final months of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest and although Manchester United briefly surged into the picture, they look more likely to cement their spot as the third best team in the Premier League.
Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle and for the moment have hunted down Newcastle, while Liverpool is back in the Champions League picture after their return to form and Chelsea looks like a top six finish is their ceiling. For now.
Surprising Fulham, Brentford, and Brighton are all hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns. Can one of them surprise and qualify for Europe?
Who are the candidates for relegation?
Southampton, West Ham, and Bournemouth currently occupy the relegation places but that keeps changing all the time and it is so tight at the bottom of the table.
Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Wolves, Leeds, Everton and Crystal Palace all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three as the race to stay in the Premier League intensifies. This could be the craziest relegation scrap in Premier League history.
Below you will find the latest Premier League table.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City can momentarily cut the gap to leaders Arsenal to five points but there are question marks swirling around the fitness of goalscoring machine Erling Haaland heading into this game. City are looking for a three-peat of Premier League titles and five in the last six seasons, but Arsenal don’t look like they’re going to slip up anytime soon. So City can’t afford to either. They’ve won six in a row in all competitions, scoring 23 and conceding once in that run. We all know they love to kick on at this point of the campaign, so let’s see if they can do it again.
As for Liverpool, well, it has been one step forward and one step back pretty much all season long for Jurgen Klopp’s side. After their 7-0 shellacking of Manchester United, they then lost at Bournemouth to infuriate Klopp and their fans further. The front three of Salah, Nunez and Gakpo are all clicking through the gears nicely but Liverpool have to become more consistent and dominant games in midfield if they’re going to close the gap to the current top four. They’ve had success against City in recent years as their contrasting style of play match up well but this seems like a different, more fragile, Liverpool this season.
How to watch Manchester City vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday TV Channel: Peacock Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
The fitness of Haaland is obviously a huge concern for City as he suffered a groin issue and did not play for Norway over the international break and returned to Manchester for treatment. If he isn’t fit to start then expect Julian Alvarez to come in. Elsewhere, City are flying with Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gunodgan having a big role to play with Phil Foden out following his Appendectomy. As always, Kevin de Bruyne is the main man and will relish this chance to cut Arsenal’s lead atop the table.
Liverpool just can’t find consistency right now. They have improved defensively but they are a real Jekyll and Hyde team. Jurgen Klopp isn’t a fan of that and showed his frustration after their defeat at Bournemouth, which was their last Premier League game and was way back on March 11. He’s had a few weeks to stew over that loss and it will be intriguing to see what plan he has come up with. For this game as earlier this season Liverpool beat Man City 1-0 at Anfield by playing a front four which pinned City in.
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Erling Haaland (groin) | OUT: Phil Foden (appendix removed)
Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Calvin Ramsay (knee), Stefan Bajcetic (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Luis Diaz (knee), Darwin Nunez (ankle), Kostas Tsimikas (rib), Thiago Alcantara (hip), Joe Gomez (undisclosed)
How are the Hammers in this situation? Well, they’ve won just two of their last 14 Premier League games and the pressure is mounting on David Moyes as his side sit in the relegation zone with 12 games of the season to go following their 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa last time out in the league. They have won all eight of their UEFA Conference League games as they’ve reached the quarterfinal (they play Belgian side Gent in the last eight) but their league form has suffered badly. Five of their six Premier League wins this season have come at home though, so they will be hoping the home fans get behind them early on in this one.
As for Southampton, well, they are scrapping. Interim head coach Ruben Selles saw his side fight back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 late on against Tottenham last time out and that draw felt like a win. Can Saints keep the positive momentum going? They have become better defensively but time is running out and although they are just two points from safety they have played at least one more game than all of the teams around them. They have a tough remaining schedule but have fared well against the big boys this season and they drew with West Ham in the return game back in October as this looks like a very even matchup.
How to watch West Ham vs Southampton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9am ET, Sunday TV Channel: USA Network Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Declan Rice is the main man for West Ham and he is doing his best to dig in and drive them forward. Other than that, Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen, Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings all need to find some form, and fast, if they’re going to drag West Ham up the table and away from this relegation battle they were never supposed to be anywhere near.
Southampton’s main man James Ward-Prowse is also dragging Saints through games and an unlikely resurgence from the fit-again Theo Walcott has played a big role in them picking up plenty of points since Selles took charge. The young duo of Romeo Lavia and Armel Bella-Kotchap continue to progress nicely in midfield and defense respectively and Saints now feel like they have a chance of getting out of the bottom three.
West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Lukasz Fabianski (face), Michail Antonio (calf)
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Juan Larios (thigh), Valentino Livramento (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Che Adams (calf), Armel Bella-Kotchap (shoulder)