“Smells like potential.” -Ted Lasso
So, I might have been slightly off with last year’s predictions. But I was close! We were only four trophies shy of my predicted historic quadruple. I won’t make that mistake again. This time I’m saying we’ll win a treble. Far more sensible.
Plus it means Manchester City can have their annual tin pot League Cup as they continue on their way as a soulless sportswashing wing of a planet destroying, human rights abusing petrostate. Real clubs with real fans back in stadiums will have real trophies to win.
No club in the league was more negatively impacted than Liverpool when the pandemic hit and stadiums emptied. Stands to reason that no club will benefit more from 50,000 rabid Scousers cheering every press, tackle, and goal than the Reds.
Lots of so-called experts are writing Liverpool off. The team that finished third with their sixth and eighth choice center backs. The team with the world’s best manager. The team with a fully operational Virgil van Dijk. The team that is basically unbeatable at home with fans in the ground.
You want to doubt Liverpool? Why? Because they didn’t buy back former players for three times the price? Because they did their major transfer business early in the window and then you forgot about it? Because they just tied down four of the most important cogs in this machine for the foreseeable future?
Let the doubters doubt. Jürgen Klopp made the world believe once, and he’ll do it again.
Anyway, I’m rambling. To the predictions!
We’ll start easy. Three wins out of three. Who’s going to stop us? Norwich? Our front three will make them long for the days when Luis Suarez tormented them. Burnley? Sure, good luck parking the bus in front of the first full Anfield league match in a year and a half.
Chelsea? They might be a challenge, but only just. A late Saturday kickoff on a bank holiday weekend? Anfield will be bouncing. There’s only one team that’s coming out of this fixture with a perfect record in tact, and it ain’t the boys from the south.
Leeds, Palace, and Brentford. Three wins out of three for the month, six from six for the season. Next.
Well hello there, Manchesters City and United.
Liverpool start the month by hosting City, who will no doubt be distracted by their continued investigation by the Premier League into their “interesting” financial records. Regardless, City’s record at Anfield—last year’s win at an empty stadium notwithstanding—is very bad. Liverpool will send them back down the road with zero points, and looking up at the Reds on their perch at the top of the table.
And United? I expect Ole to be in full crisis mode by this point, having failed to get his new shiny toys to do basic things like “score goals” and “win games.” Liverpool make it two on the trot at Old Trafford.
Watford and Brighton round out the month. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
West Ham, Arsenal, Southampton, and Everton.
Looks like four wins to me. Liverpool will be able to rotate heavily, and wrap up Champions League qualification with a game or two to spare.
Oh, and Big Virg scores a hat trick against the Ev, giving Pickford a death stare after each one. The loss puts Everton in the relegation zone, not for the first or last time this season. Agent Rafa is making all our dreams come true. Pickford cries himself to sleep for weeks after.
The Reds start a busy holiday period with a couple of tough fixtures: away to Wolves and home to Aston Villa. Both teams will have serious ambitions of achieving European football this season, but Liverpool are just too much for them. There are also two tricky away fixtures: Spurs and Leicester City. Liverpool might just lose their perfect record with a draw or two in this period. Might. Or not. Regardless, Liverpool are top at Christmas and we beat Leeds United on Boxing Day to extend our lead at the top of the table.
Oh, and we play Newcastle in there, somewhere. Three more points.
Meanwhile in Manchester, Ole managed to briefly bounce back from the Liverpool defeat with a few big wins against City and Chelsea in November, but a lackluster December leaves them adrift from the Top 4 and looking more and more like a midtable side.
Liverpool start the year with a trip to Chelsea. Stamford Bridge is rarely a barrel of laughs, but Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have had a pretty good record there. Chelsea hope that a big win will revive their title campaign, and City hope for any dropped points from the Reds. Both will be disappointed.
The Reds, sans Mo Salah and Sadio Mané make easy work of Brentford and Palace and the pundits start asking “when” and “by how much” Liverpool will win the league instead of “if.”
Leicester City are once again in the Top 4 race as they come to Anfield, but Brendan Rodgers’ charges are left wondering if this is the start of yet another late-season collapse. Burnley, Norwich City, and even a trip to Arsenal are no challenge for these Champions elect. Jurgen Klopp’s Big Red Machine is in full swing.
The Reds draw Porto in the Round of 16, and things are starting to feel familiar after a big win in the first leg.
Liverpool start the month with big wins against West Ham and Brighton, and secure their ticket to the Champions League quarterfinals. Pep’s Manchester City are not so lucky, after he once again overthinks an opponent. Probably Atalanta or Leipzig (answer hazy ask again later).
Manchester United’s up and down season has yet another set back, and it really stings against their old rivals Liverpool. However, Ole still has his supporters after navigating his way to the Europa League quarterfinals and to the later stages of the FA Cup. The league positioning is worrying though, and some supporters are looking with concern down the table, instead of up.
Watford are up first, but the biggest challenge against the Hornets will be to not look ahead to City in the upcoming match. The Reds are winning the league at a canter, but they can equal their record of winning the league with seven matches to go, and do it by seeing off the champions at their gaff. Liverpool do the double over City, beating them TWICE, and are officially Champions once again.
The quarterfinal draw in the Champions League sees us face a depleted Barcelona. There’s no epic set of ties this time. Liverpool are clearly miles ahead of the Catalan side.
Liverpool fans watch with delight as Everton-Manchester United suddenly becomes a “must win” match for both sides, with both needing a win to stay above the relegation zone. A drab 0-0 draw helps neither side. The Reds add to Everton’s misery at the end of the month, and the Blues are now 4 points from safety.
We also play Aston Villa and Newcastle in there, somewhere. Guards of honor all around.
In the league, the Reds start the month at home against Tottenham, then away to Southampton, and the Wolves at home to finish things off. Last time we finished the season against Wolves at Anfield we were hoping beyond hope for a favor against City. There will be no such worries today. The league has already been won. We get to enjoy checking the scores, watching United and Everton fight for survival on the last day, only to come up short.
In the Champions League Liverpool defeat Chelsea in the semifinal. Thomas Tuchel quits, hoping never to have to manage another match at Anfield ever again.
The Reds face PSG in the Champions League final. Messi has revenge on the mind, as does Pochettino. But the Reds absolutely suffocate this Pochettino side, just as they did against Tottenham in the last final. Liverpool win 2-0, and rival fans once again complain about it being a boring final.
Oh. And we win the FA Cup in there, somewhere. Let’s say against United, for the LOLZ.
And this is the definitive way the season will go.