Will No FA Cup Help Liverpool in the Title Race?

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LIVERPOOL’S ELIMINATION

Jurgen Klopp’s side were put to the sword by an eager Wolves team, as the hosts beat Liverpool 2-1 in a deserved victory.

Raul Jimenez netted first with seven minutes until half time, while Divock Origi equalised soon after the break with a fine strike on the edge of the box.

Less than five minutes later however, Wolves were back in the lead due to a fantastic long-range goal from star-man Ruben Neves who has made a habit of scoring from distance since his arrival in England.

Although Liverpool’s starting eleven was much changed compared to their usual Premier League line-up, there were worrying aspects to their performance.

The defence looked shaky throughout the ninety minutes but ultimately held up very well considering it was up to debutant Ki-Jana Hoever to replace the injured Dejan Lovren after six minutes.

In attack Liverpool were surprisingly toothless as many expected players such as Sturridge, Origi and Shaqiri to be chomping at the bit to impress Klopp due to the fact they are regularly benched.

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

THE TITLE RACE SO FAR

Liverpool sit top of the tree after twenty-three games, having lost just once and won nineteen, drawing three.

Despite missing out on the opportunity to create a ten point gap between themselves and Manchester City, Liverpool remain in a good position and still have a healthy lead over their title rivals.

City will have the chance to cut the gap between the two to one point as they play their next Premier League fixture one day before Liverpool, so the pressure could well be on the league leaders.

However, Liverpool have a period of rest which lasts for ten days between their last game of football and their upcoming Premier League match due to their elimination from both the League Cup and FA Cup, while Manchester City have to play in both competitions before their next league game which gives them a total of three days rest between their FA Cup tie and their trip to Newcastle.

Mohamed Salah Mo Salah Liverpool Anfield Premier League Football

WILL LIVERPOOL BENEFIT?

It can be argued that Liverpool will lose some match sharpness with such a lengthy rest, and that Manchester City will only grow in confidence if they are to win the two games prior to the Newcastle fixture.

Liverpool jetted off to Dubai immediately after their victory versus Crystal Palace for some warm weather training and will surely use the time they have to put all of their focus towards the Premier League and their next match at home to Leicester City.

It would be ignorant to suggest that Liverpool do not have a slight advantage due to this rest of ten days, as Manchester City are far more likely to pick up unfortunate injuries in competitive football matches than Liverpool will be through training.

It would be equally ridiculous though, to argue that the title rests on Liverpool’s elimination from the FA Cup, as most of the teams fighting for the top six rest their big name players during the FA Cup matches and it allows the unused players to gather confidence.

In the end, all that matters is winning in the Premier League, and the league fixtures are put aside for one weekend at a time when the FA Cup comes around unless both teams have been knocked out. Each team must play one another twice and to become the champions they have to come through any obstacles thrown at them.

Whether Liverpool will gain any benefit at all from their weekends of rest remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that the Premier League is far more complex and surprising than that.

Alisson Becker Liverpool Roma Brazil
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