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Monday, 24 February 2014

Liverpool: Can the Reds win the league?

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Liverpool are potentially just 11 games away from winning their first league title in 24 years. Yesterday's seven-goal thriller at home to Swansea City kept the Reds within four points of the leaders Chelsea, but can Brendan Rodgers' side really win the Premier League trophy?

Bookmakers Coral have placed Liverpool as joint third favourites with Arsenal at 8/1 and it's easy to see why. In Sturridge and Suarez they have the best strike partnership in the country. They are scoring goals for fun and are playing some fantastic attacking football. The way they humbled Arsenal recently was like being slapped in the face with a kipper. I mean, we all knew Liverpool could beat anyone on their day but that display really did make everyone sit up and take notice.  

Sturridge and hendersonLiverpool are now the league's top scorers and Rodgers philosophy seems to be you score one, we'll score six. Defensively Liverpool are suspect and they will be severely tested against the best, but as long as the SAS are fit and firing on all cylinders then Liverpool should have no trouble in picking up points.

A place in the top four looks to be in the bag, but can they actually go one further and win the league?

Well, unlike their other title rivals, the Reds have nothing to distract them from the job at hand. They've had no European football to contend with this season and are now also out of the running for the FA Cup. For them they have 11 cup finals between now and May 11 to concentrate on and if they win all 11 then they will be extremely unlucky not to win the title.

Their countdown to potential glory starts this Saturday with a visit to the south coast to play Southampton. The Saints have gone off the boil in recent weeks but are still a dangerous team. They could take the wind out of Liverpool's sails, but the Reds should be too strong for them.

Then it's a visit to Old Trafford to take on the old enemy. United have had a nightmare campaign, but with RVP back fit and Rooney settled, alongside Mata and Januzaj, they will give Liverpool a real go, especially at home. However, Liverpool fans don't have to look too far back to remember when they tore the champions apart in their own backyard. 

Liverpool are then off to Wales to face relegation-threatened Cardiff City before they take on Spurs at home at the end of March. That game could effectively be the one that kills Tottenham's top four hopes. 

April begins with a visit to West Ham, which should be a formality, before hosting Manchester City, travelling to Norwich - make sure Suarez is your fantasy football captain for that one - and then hosting Chelsea. That could be the decisive month in Liverpool's season. Win all four and the title could be within their grasp.

Crystal Palace away could be a banana skin at the start of May before they end the season at home to Newcastle. The Reds also have a home game against Sunderland to squeeze in at some point, but they will fancy their chances against both north east sides.

Thirty-three points are up for grabs and you'd have to be a bluenose or a Manc to write off their chances of title glory.

Injuries and suspensions could derail their title hopes. Their squad is not the biggest and they will need Lady Luck on their side in that respect. Rodgers will also have to get to grips with his defence. Offensively Liverpool look sound, but at the back there are huge holes that need to be plugged. Kolo Toure is not the answer.

Whatever happens between now and May, this will be a season to remember for Liverpool fans. They have already taken three points off Arsenal in style and will have a huge say in the destination of this year's title.

The summer started with Rodgers winning the battle to keep Suarez at the club. Their aim before a ball was kicked was a place in the much coveted Champions League places. That was a goal they ultimately needed to achieve in order to keep the controversial striker happy and it's now theirs to lose.

But could Brendan Rodgers land the biggest prize of them all after 24 years of suffering?

Calling all Liverpool fans: Are you beginning to dream of winning the title? Who do you think will win the league? How impressed have you been with the way you have performed this season? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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