Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton. While Liverpool will most assuredly need to beat their final three domestic opponents in Huddersfield Town, Newcastle and Wolverhampton to have a chance of being crowned Premier League champions, it is the first trio of squads—Manchester City’s remaining opponents—who will ultimately have the final say in the most thrilling title race in recent memory.
City are a single point ahead in the standings and the second place Reds need the Citizens to misplace two of the remaining six points at their disposal for the Merseyside chasers to even have a shot. A very distant shot. Against a historically-dominant side helmed by one of the finest managerial talents to have graced the game in Pep Guardiola.
However, in a week in which Liverpool’s own generational leader in Jürgen Klopp has made a point of exuding pragmatism in an attempt to potentially head off disappointment at a failure to lift a league title at the 29th consecutive time of asking, the German manager has also made sure to rally the global Red nation to hold onto even the tiniest sliver of hope:
“It is over when it’s over and not before, and for us, it is not over,” Klopp said. In that casually profound way of his, the 51-year-old encouraged his side to resist the urge to down tools, equating the all-conquering (except in the Champions League) City’s part in this drama to that of fate:
“It is a little bit like destiny,” he continued. “If someone wants us to be champions, we will be champions. If not, we will not. But the boys will not be the reason in a negative way.
“There are so many examples in life of what could happen if you give up too early, of what it means, of people who would not have survived if they’d given up. You know these examples.
“We just do what we have to do as well as we can do it. Then we will see.”
Frame that one and put it on your wall.
Right then. Two dropped points, that’s all we need. The Great British Hope aka Sean Dyche, the “Outstanding” Brendan Rodgers and…however you want to alternatively characterize a relegation-threatened Brighton squad are our allies for the next three weeks.
May they never walk alone.