Can Liverpool Beat United To Number 19?

Liverpool’s chances of winning a 19Th League Title took a minor blow following Sundays 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane, although it would be foolish to dismiss their hopes after merely one match of course.

Worryingly though for reds fans, Liverpool put in the sort of performance that would suit a team fighting for a draw and not one pushing for their first title in 20 years, with only Lucas Leiva and Pepe Reina putting in praise worthy performances.

What was highlighted in the game against Spurs, was a small but significant lack of depth in the Liverpool team.  With Carragher, Gerrard and Torres all struggling with late fitness concerns their was nobody there to fill the gaps, so these key players had to make do.  From the off set of the game it was clear that Torres was out of sorts, a misery compounded by a knock to the ankle early on, which the Spanish Striker seemed unable to shake off. 

During the transfer window, so far, Liverpool have added Glen Johnson as a direct replacement for Alvaro Arbeloa who moved to - Real Madrid, before Xabi Alonso more recently joined him at the Bernabau – and Alberto Aquilani, replacing the aforementioned Alonso.  With the return of loaned out flop Andriy Voronin, Liverpool’s strike force, doesn’t look any better than it did last season either.

So, with straight swaps in defense and midfield, and general lack of enhancement anywhere on the pitch, can anyone say that Liverpool look more likely to win the title this year than they did last season? 

The answer is…not conclusive.

Although the team is no better than last year, provided that Aquilani can do a reasonable job in filling Alonso’s boots in central midfield, Liverpools greatest asset could be not any expansion of quality in their own team, but the diminished quality of their main rivals Manchester United, who lost both Christiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez this summer, which over the course of the season is bound to take some toll on the champions. 

Liverpool no doubt have a team which is capable of taking the league challenge further than they have for a long time, as they proved last season, finishing second, mainly due to poor home draws against lower placed opposition.  Key to their hopes is the fitness of Gerrard and Torres, who’s devastating partnership could be the difference in the title race.

With Chelsea starting again under a new coach, who may or may not be a hit success with his curiously outdated looking “diamond” formation and Arsenal’s shrinking pool of experienced talent working in their favour, Liverpool could find themselves in a handsome position to beat United to title number 19 and back to the top.

But, then of course there is the big-spending, blue half of Manchester to consider…which is another story altogether.

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