Can Liverpool Break Records?

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Photo Credit: Rodhullandemu on Wikimedia Commons

Maxwell Vaughan, Writer

With their 2-0 win at home against Manchester United, Liverpool has successfully accumulated 64 out of 66 points possible in the Premier League, which is a record among Europe’s top five leagues. The Reds have possibly the greatest start to a season in the entire history of soccer. While this is quite an impressive feat, there are two lofty records set by past Premier League sides that this team has to top in order to enter the League’s pantheon.

Just two years ago, in the 2017-2018 season, Pep Guardiola led Manchester City to the league title. On the way, they became the first team with 100 points in a season, which is the most gained ever by a Premier League team. They finished the season with an impressive 32 wins, 4 draws, and 2 losses out of 38 games. In the 2003-2004 season, soccer icons Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry led Arsenal F.C. to an undefeated season, the first since Preston North End in 1889 (back when they only played 22 games). 

Both of these records have been discussed seemingly non-stop by English soccer fans. Arsenal supporters fondly remember their “Invincible” season, and although recent, the City squad of just a few years ago will certainly be discussed as one of the best teams in Premier League history. The current Liverpool team has a very solid chance at breaking either record or even both. 

However, there are three main things that could lessen Liverpool’s chances: fixture congestion, injury, and, of course, playing tough matches. Fixture congestion has already been a big problem for Liverpool so far, as they had to play a Club World Cup match and a League Cup match on the same day, and this could still be a problem for the Reds later in the year. With the FA Cup still ongoing, and the UEFA Champions League starting back up in mid-February, Jurgen Klopp’s men could have some trouble with overuse injuries, as playing midweek games and weekend games are not exactly kind to the body. But there’s one thing that Liverpool has that can easily combat fixture congestion and injury: some of the best squad depth in Europe. For example, early in this month, Klopp played a team of mostly youngsters and backups (the average age of the squad was a surprising 22.34) against a full-strength Everton team and won 1-0. Also, with Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho back from injury, the team is back to full strength. 

Lastly, the Reds only have four games remaining against the top ten teams, one of which will be against tenth-place Southampton. Liverpool didn’t have much trouble against them earlier in the year, winning 2-1. I don’t see the Reds having much trouble at home against Southampton, but it is not a game to be taken lightly, as Southampton has beaten some solid teams like Leicester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham. Another one of these four games is against sixth-place Wolves, which will have already been played by the time this article is out. Once again, a Liverpool team that seems to be unstoppable will probably not be deterred by a team like Wolves. I think fourth-place Chelsea could put up a fight, but since the game is at Liverpool, I don’t think it’s likely Chelsea could pull out a win. At this point, it seems clear that the only team that could beat Liverpool would be Manchester City. Although Liverpool won the previous match 3-1, they by no means dominated. It will be a close match, and City could easily come out on top.

Now, there’s one more game that I think has the highest chance of ruining Liverpool’s hopes at an undefeated season. Three weeks before the end of the season, Liverpool will travel to London to play Arsenal. Although Arsenal is having an abysmal season by club standards, sitting in 12th place at the moment, they will no doubt be inspired by their record-setting predecessors and the roaring crowd behind them to stop Liverpool’s unbeaten run. All in all, unless they don’t win the league by some miracle, this will be a successful season for Liverpool. Winning the league is certainly more important than these two records. With that being said, they could be a legendary team if they managed to break one or both of them. While they seem to be red hot right now, the Reds still have a long second half of the season ahead of them, and anything could happen.