Can Liverpool close the gap on Manchester City this season?
Liverpool finished the 2017-18 campaign in fourth place, a huge 25 points behind the league leaders, but they reached the UEFA Champions League Final where they lost to Real Madrid by a scoreline of 3-1.
After their domestic and continental success, Liverpool has set out to further strengthen their squad. Jurgen Klopp has been active this summer by making the following signings - Fabinho (Monaco), Naby Keita (RB Leipzig), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), and Alisson Becker (AS Roma).
As a result of their success in Europe last season, most pundits have selected Liverpool to finish in second place behind Manchester City in the table. With a newfound confidence and the arrival of four quality players, Liverpool will certainly be an even better site this season.
The question worth asking, however, is do the Reds have what it takes to close the 25-point gap between the two sides or even surpass the Sky Blues?
Liverpool vs Manchester City - Comparison
Despite their unmatched success last season, Manchester City did not emulate Tottenham and remain inactive during the summer transfer window. Pep Guardiola aims to replicate the success from last season and brought in some new talent over the summer months.
Manchester City purchased Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Claudio Gomes (PSG), Philippe Sandler (PEC Zwolle), and Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City) this summer.
When comparing the activity of both clubs during the summer transfer window, Liverpool wins the debate as they added four quality players with proven track records. The same cannot be said for Manchester City.
Regardless of the new talent purchased by both sides, Manchester City still has the best roster in the Premier League. The key difference between both teams can be spotted in their defensive units.
Offensively, both teams are extremely dangerous and they are both capable of scoring four or five goals against opponents on any given week. Defensively, however, Manchester City enjoys more depth, consistency and solidity.
Last season, Manchester City only conceded 27 goals in 38 matches, an astonishing statistic which equates to an average of 0.7 goals per match.
Liverpool has an above-average defense that can frustrate most opponents, but not all. This was put on display last season as Klopp's men dropped points in 17 matches (12 draws, 5 losses), compared to Manchester City only dropping points in 6 matches (4 draws, 2 losses).
Thu far in the 2018-19 campaign, the Reds, and the Sky Blues had impressive results. Liverpool embarrassed West Ham 4-0 at Anfield, while Manchester City walked over Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
I am in agreement with every analyst who predicts these two clubs will finish first and second this season. However, Manchester City will not be as dominant as they were last term.
The competition in the Premier League has improved over the summer and clubs will do their best to avoid committing the same mistakes from last season against superior opponents like Manchester City.
With that being said, I think Liverpool will close the gap between the two sides by a large margin, but this will not be the season that sees Liverpool take the title from Manchester City. My prediction for the table standings at the end of the season between these two clubs is as follows:
- Manchester City - 89 points
- Liverpool - 84 points
Do you agree with my prediction? Let us know in the comments below.