Opinion

How can the ‘Big 6’ help Liverpool’s title challenge?

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Liverpool is without a doubt having the best opening to a season in ten years and fans dream of ending the 28-year old title drought, albeit with some caution or reality checks.

We’ve a squad to match the 2008/09 one, remain unbeaten in the league after 10 games and top our Champions League group. However, Liverpool major challengers both wear blue. Manchester City remain favourites after last season’s record-setting heroics and they look even stronger. With Chelsea, City complete a trio of three unbeaten teams atop the Premier League table and established a goal difference of +8 better than the Reds. Their better goal difference looks even more ominous in consideration of Liverpool’s tactical change, City’s red-hot scoring form and matching us win for win. City lead the Big 6 table and Liverpool is third behind Chelsea … for now.

In the mix and 2 points behind the top 2, Sarri’s Chelsea led by Eden Hazard are ready to pounce on any slip. Chelsea has 4 goals more than Liverpool but conceded 3 more so we remain ahead on GD by +1. To win the Premier League title this season, Liverpool needs help.
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“To win the Premier League title
this season, Liverpool needs help”
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Where will help come from?

From within: Foremost, Liverpool must help themselves by ensuring The Club has the right mentality. Within the Club, players and management must have the same focus and belief otherwise it would be waste of everyone’s time.
We must keep up with City to ensure Chelsea and co remain behind us while hoping both of them slip. We may not yet be in free goal-scoring form as we were this time last season but it’s more important to get those wins in.
We must pray not to have our squad suffer any serious injuries. I wonder how Liverpool will do if an important player like Kevin de Bruyne gets injured; City didn’t miss him.

All Reds fans should hope (and pray) both City and Chelsea slip-up big time as we consolidate our position. They need to also slip if and when we do because every team will have one or two low periods.

Of course, Anfield is now back to the fortress we once knew, many thanks to the priceless support of our vociferous singing fans. Their help is invaluable.

However, the most crucial help we can hope to get is from all other PL teams especially the big6. We expect teams to put up a fight and hope they won’t just roll over and die playing against City (and Chelsea) but will dig in their heels with pride and clear intent to get results.

Big Six Ties 

Matches between the big 6 will be competitive as well as banana skin ties between big6 and dangerous teams like Bournemouth (having an excellent season and improving), Wolves (held City), Leicester City, West Ham (beat Untied) and Watford (who’ve already beaten Spurs). Whichever teams wins the big 6 battle looks likely to win the title but would also have to handle dangerous teams like those listed.

It’s important to note City played all three big 6 matches so far away; Liverpool played 2 away while Chelsea played all three at home.

 

Big 6: 2nd November 
  Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man City 3 2 1 0 3 0 +3 7
2 Chelsea 3 1 2 0 6 5 +1 5
3 Liverpool 3 1 2 0 3 2 +1 5
4 Tottenham 3 1 0 2 3 3 0 3
5 Man Utd 2 0 1 2 2 5 -3 1
6 Arsenal 2 0 0 2 2 5 -3 0

Table 1

Only Arsenal are yet to get a point off big 6 teams so far but the resurgent Gunners host Liverpool on Saturday in what would be a proper test of their top 4 credentials. Never mind they lost to City and Chelsea at the beginning of Emery’s reign.

There are eight big 6 and at least fifteen banana skin matches between 3rd November and 31st December. See fixtures below. A review of the fixtures indicate only one potential banana-skin match for City in comparison with Liverpool, another indication of how difficult Liverpool’s task is. All other big 6 teams have at least 2 similar matches listed. There could be more because it’s difficult to evaluate how many upsets there might be in consideration of relegation threats, injuries to key players and loss of form. While it’s conceivable to imagine teams slump to inexplicable defeats, it’s difficult to envisage City doing so.

In addition, while City has a settled system with minimal tweaks, Chelsea is acclimatizing to Sarri’s way and Klopp is integrating new players and trying systems.

Date/weekend of

Big6 Fixtures Potential Banana Skin Ties

3rd November

Arsenal v Liverpool

Bournemouth v Untied

 

Wolves v Tottenham

11th November

City v Untied

Arsenal v Wolves

24th November

Tottenham v Chelsea

Watford v Untied

 

Bournemouth v Arsenal

1st December

Arsenal  v Tottenham

Liverpool v Everton

 

City v Bournemouth

5th December

Untied v Arsenal

Wolves v Chelsea

8th December

Chelsea v City

Leicester v Tottenham

 

Bournemouth v Liverpool

14th December

Liverpool v Untied

21st December

Wolves v Liverpool

 

Everton v Tottenham

25th December

Watford v Chelsea

28th December

Liverpool v Arsenal

Untied v Bournemouth

 

Tottenham v Wolves

No. of Fixtures

8

15

Table 2

It’s my firm belief that for Liverpool to eventually dislodge City at season’s end, we need the help of other big 6 boys and hope other teams are also ready to resist and take them on.

YNWA

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