After 24 years of waiting, Liverpool is just three wins away from claiming the Premier League title. In the past two decades, Reds were runner-ups just twice but this time faith is in their hands.
Previous season, they finished on 7th place. General opinion is that manager Rodgers did that on purpose – he didn’t want to waste time and stamina of players in second tier European competition, such is Europa League. During the summer transfer window, four arrived to the club in June – Mignolet, Toure, Alberto and Iaspas were brought for less than 24 million£, while Sakho and Ilori arrived during the last day of transfer window.
When it comes to style of play, this season brought different approach for Reds. Rodgers managed to adjust the squad to play in various formations. Season started in 3-5-2, which was later shifted to 4-5-1 following by 4-2-3-1 in the second half of season. Team play is based on ball possession and in this season, Liverpool managed to claim average 54.7%, followed by 84.1% of pass success rate.
Their winning rate against “smaller teams” significantly improved. In the past season, fans were frustrated with dropping of points in games against Stoke, WBA, Aston Villa, etc. This season, we saw just one defeat on Anfield (against Southampton in Gameweek 5), one draw (against Aston Villa in Gameweek 22), and all other games were victories for Reds.
Second, and probably most important part of the Liverpool game are goals. They scored 96 league goals, and that is 25 more than last, with three gameweeks remaining till the end. Duo Suarez-Sturridge scored 50 league goals, and that number would be even bigger if there wasn’t suspension for Uruguayan. Other player that contributed in this record are captain Gerrard with 13 goals, winger Sterling with 9 and defender Skrtel, who found the net on 7 occasions.
Also, early cup eliminations gave team chance to keep their strength for the games. Unlike other competitors for top 4 spots on the table, Liverpool squad was always rested during the week. While Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United played two games per week, Merseysiders only had one game in seven days on their agenda. This was important for them, since the subs are not as half as good as the first choice players (Moses, Aspas and Alberto are simply not the players that are capable of improving the quality of play).
To wrap it up, early finished transfers, change of approach and style of play, combined with outstanding form of Suarez and Sturridge seems to be crucial for the title race of Liverpool. Three more gameweeks are ahead of them in which they need to claim seven points in order to secure top spot and find the Holy Grail – Premier League trophy.