The Premier League title was a one-horse race for the 2017/18 season, with Manchester City running away with it. However, over the summer, we saw Liverpool improve drastically, so much so that many people believed that they could challenge City for the title. After 11 games of the season, City have a two-point lead at the top, with Liverpool and Chelsea behind them.

None of those three teams have lost a game yet. City have won nine and drawn two, while Liverpool and Chelsea have won eight and drawn three. Things certainly haven’t been as easy for City so far as they were last season, and Liverpool fans should be thrilled with what they have seen so far.

The big reason why Liverpool could challenge this season is their defensive play, something they have struggled with for the past two or three seasons. They have made it their priority to improve that area, and based on what we have seen so far this season, they certainly have done that. Conceding goals was always a problem, however; five goals conceded from their first eleven games is the second-best record in the league, just one goal more than what Manchester City have conceded.

Two new signings have helped make that difference; goalkeeper Alisson and defender Virgil Van Dijk, who was signed from fellow Premier League club Southampton. Alisson is a very active goalkeeper and he likes to play the ball. He can play as a sweeper in behind the defense and ensure that Liverpool get the ball out quickly and put their opposition under pressure.

Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk” by Ailura (CC BY-SA 3.0)

However, it is the signing of Virgil Van Dijk that has made the biggest impact so far. Not only is Van Dijk an impressive defender himself, but he is a great leader and he makes others around him play even better. The emergence of Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold has certainly been helped on by the presence of Van Dijk in the team. With a leader at the back to command the defense and one of the best-attacking lines in the world, Liverpool look like a complete team and one that is ready to challenge for the Premier League title.

After a good start to the season, the latest Premier League betting has Liverpool as 9/2 second favourites behind Manchester City, who are long odds-on. This is a very different Liverpool team to the one we saw last year and the year before, and with strength all over the pitch as well as youngsters who are eager to impress, they could well upset the odds this season and beat City to the title.

The race for the Premier League trophy is sure to be a good one this season and, while we don’t yet know if Liverpool can overpower City and beat them to the title, we certainly won’t be watching a one-horse race like last season. Liverpool look to be in a position to challenge, not only this season but for years to come.

Anfield” by Tobias Barkskog (CC BY-SA 3.0)