Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Burnley kept the Reds at the top of the table following the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal the previous week. Liverpool still sit atop the Premier League mountain, even though Man City have a game in hand.
With just two points separating the two teams, if Manchester City win this match they will go top of the championship. At this point, the defending champion would begin to look at winning the title for the fifth time in six seasons.
Still, everything remains to play for and Liverpool simply need to continue doing what they have been doing so far this season, which is winning football matches. A clash with Manchester City is still to come next month, meaning both sides have their fate in their own hands for the moment.
LEARN MORE: Xabi Alonso just showed how he would use Darwin Núñez at Liverpool as Jürgen Klopp leaves a gift
LEARN MORE: Another club ‘confident’ of keeping manager as Liverpool deal Jurgen Klopp blow on shortlist
Firstly, Liverpool are due to travel to Brentford on February 17. Jürgen Klopp’s side can reasonably be expected to salvage all three points, although Manchester City have had a relatively difficult time in this very match recently – incidentally, their current match will also be against the Bees .
Injuries remain a concern for Klopp, with Mohamed Salah still out, as well as Dominik Szoboszlai. Klopp also lost Trent Alexander-Arnold at half-time in the win over Burnley.
Injuries are starting to pile up for the German at the wrong time of the season, and there are hopes he can get several of his key men back as we enter the business end of the campaign. Here, Liverpool.com runs an analysis across the Premier League and across the continent to see what’s happening at Liverpool’s rivals.
Liverpool face Xabi Alonso battle
Liverpool could face a battle trying to entice Xabi Alonso to replace Klopp next season. An Italian report suggests Thomas Tuchel’s future at Bayern Munich is in serious doubt, partly dependent on Champions League success.
Tuttomercatoweb suggests Tuchel could be ‘in danger’ if Bayern lose in the Bundesliga for the first time in 12 years to Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen. An assessment should be made at the end of the season, although an upset against Lazio in Europe could even accelerate that.
The report also suggests that Bayern could turn to Alonso to replace Tuchel. He is the “dream” candidate, which poses a potential problem for Liverpool, even if the Reds would have established pole position.
Liverpool.com says: Bayern are another of Alonso’s former clubs, and if he leads Bayer Leverkusen to success in the Bundesliga, Bayern could do what Bayern does best and poach talent from within the league. However, Liverpool should hope to secure Alonso before Bayern have a chance to fire Tuchel.
Man City ‘could face expulsion from Champions League’
Man City could be kicked out of the Champions League, and not because of financial problems. Spanish side Girona, 47 percent owned by City Group, confound critics and sit comfortably in the top four in La Liga, which in theory would earn them a place in next season’s Champions League.
As the Express explains, UEFA rules stipulate that two clubs belonging to the same body cannot compete in the same European competition. This casts doubt on whether both teams will be involved next year.
Girona are on track to qualify for the Champions League and the current tournament regulations state that only the top-ranked team in the respective divisions will be allowed to compete. Girona are on course to finish second and while Pep Guardiola’s side are also currently second in the Premier League, only two points separate the top three. If Arsenal and Liverpool secure the top two spots, then City would be forced out of the competition they won just under a year ago.
The Liverpool home shirt for the 2023/2024 campaign pays tribute to Bill Shankly and the legendary Reds manager’s final season in charge at Anfield. The Nike shirt features a bright red design with a bold white contrast on the colorway and cuffs.
Prices start from £59.95
In practice, City Group hopes to find a more acceptable solution. Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig are the most high-profile example in recent seasons of having established sufficient separation in governance structures to satisfy UEFA rules. But from a selfish point of view, Manchester City will be hoping to finish ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal to ensure all risk falls on Girona.
Liverpool.com says: It will be interesting to see what happens at the end of the season if Girona continue to go beyond expectations and finish in the top four. If they finish in a higher position than Manchester City, then things will get very interesting regarding what City Group will do.