One down, three to go. That is the lie of the land for Liverpool right now and with a single piece of silverware in this season’s trophy cabinet, the Merseyside men are not looking to stop at Carabao Cup success alone. The quadruple dream is still alive.
Because Jurgen Klopp and his players are also a going concern in three other competitions and although a quadruple at the end of the campaign would be a herculean amount of success, it is not outside the realm of possibility either.
For the simple reason, that this is a team in red hot form and before the international break arrived in March, Liverpool had recorded 10 successive Premier League wins. Not 10 games unbeaten but a perfect 10 instead.
A run of momentum that has Manchester City running scared and when you consider that the Etihad outfit once had a 14-point advantage over their nearest rivals – that being as recently as January, the balance of Premier League power could well be shifting before our very eyes.
Especially as the two title protagonists go to war in just a few days and although that game alone will not decide who wins this season’s edition of the Premier League, it will go a long way to defining who comes out on top.
Not only are there three points on offer, but there is also the opportunity to land a statement victory against their rivals and if it happens to be Liverpool that achieve this, it would be quite that the statement that is delivered.
WHY STOP THERE
Of course, the Premier League is not the only prize that Liverpool are eyeing up and it is also not the only theatre of war between themselves and Manchester City, as just a week later the two juggernauts will meet in the FA Cup Semi-final at Wembley.
Which means this fixture is going to go a long way to deciding who if anyone, manages to land a domestic treble and with such a haul being coveted by either club, this may also have to be a sacrificial lamb at the same time.
Lose the battle, win the war. That could be one way to look at the upcoming Wembley meeting and especially as these two protagonists could also meet in May’s Champions League final – that is if they win both their respective quarter and semi-final clashes.
However, you could also argue that throwing one competition to win another is simply not in Liverpool’s modus operandi and although it would offer just the slightest relief in terms of potential fixture congestion, what is one more fixture in such a busy end to the season.
Not only that, but April will seemingly be the busiest month of all, and this is the flipside of potential success on all fronts, a flipside that highlights just how important squad rotation will be for this Liverpool side.
Because where Manchester City have the ability to interchange their players with ease, Liverpool do not and whenever a supporting cast member has stepped in, there is always a shred of doubt that is not found elsewhere.
Can the understudy do the job, can Liverpool keep their momentum going. These are always the questions when the likes of Divock Origi or Curtis Jones are drafted in and thankfully for the Anfield outfit, they and their backup cohorts have seemingly had the answer.
They may not be the same superstar level as City’s superstar subs, but they always manage to slot in and get the job done and if they are called upon in the business end of this season, they will be ready to do business for Liverpool.
THE FULL FOCUS
Now though, it comes down to what is the most important prize for Liverpool and although they do arguably have the personnel to sweep everything up before them, a return to English football’s top step is what they covert the most.
Because after ending a 30-year wait in 2020, the celebrations were muted after COVID-19 took a vice like grip on the Premier League and with supporters denied the opportunity to celebrate officially, a second championship in three years would be welcomed for more than sporting reasons.
Then again, there is no doubt that this side would love to rule the roost in Europe and after being crowned the kings of the continent in 2019, a second Champions League success is not out of the equation either.
First, they must get the better of Benfica over two legs and if they can deal with the Portuguese outfit as expected, then things may well get a little tougher. Difficult if they then face Villarreal, extraordinarily hard if Bayern Munich stand in their way between themselves and Paris.
If only because Bayern had their own muted celebrations in 2020 and although they would get the better of PSG in that year’s Champions League final, they also had to deal with the absence of supporters at the same time.
Of course, it is not just the desire to win in front of their own support which drives the German giants on, it is also the fact that they are still an incredibly good team and if Liverpool are to earn success in Europe, they are going to have to do it the hard way.
With that said, their road to Wembley may not be a smooth one either and should they get the better of Manchester City in a couple of weeks, then there could also be the small matter of Chelsea that await them in the final.
Nothing is a given within the confines of the FA Cup, but at the same time Chelsea have certainly been handed a more favourable draw and should they get to the final, the showpiece event will be something of a blockbuster.
Which is how you can describe Liverpool’s end of season run in. To earn just the one trophy by the end of May would be disappointing. Add an FA Cup to the Carabao Cup and there will be a sense of good not but great.
Take both domestic cups and add the Premier League or Champions League into the equation and it will be a remarkable campaign. Add all four together and crown Liverpool as the quadruple kings and it will be the best season in the club’s illustrious history.
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