Can Liverpool Break Manchester City’s Record 100-point Haul?
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Bookies give Liverpool a 50-50 chance of breaking Manchester City’s Premier League record points tally of 100 this season.
Although the record was set just two seasons ago, City breaking the 100-point barrier in England’s top flight for the first time seems to have set a new standard for the top teams.
Last season, City and Liverpool finished first and second with points tallies of 98 and 97 respectively, a remarkable conclusion to a season in which both teams produced relentless winning streaks.
With the bar firmly raised, Liverpool have continued last season’s form – their 97-point total would have been enough to be crowned champions in any other season – into this campaign, winning 20 of their first 21 games.
City have not managed to stick with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds to date, losing five of their first 22 games, and talk is now turning to how many points Liverpool will collect and if they can remain unbeaten until the end of the season.
UK sportsbooks have already started to put a price on the potential outcome, going even-money (+100) on Liverpool beating the record set by Pep Guardiola’s side, equating to a 50% chance.
Are Liverpool Good Enough?
However, we asked one former Liverpool player if his old side were good enough to match or better the benchmark, to which he expressed some doubts given their continued involvement in the Champions League and FA Cup.
“I definitely think they’ve got what it takes to beat City’s 100 points record. The question is, will it be done?” former Liverpool defender Phil Babb told Bookies.com.
“I don’t see them shirking any challenge in the Premier League, I don’t think they’ll fear any team.
“What’s been happening is – if one player isn’t firing on all cylinders, someone else will pick up the mantle. If Mo Salah doesn’t score, Sadio Mane will. If they don’t score, Bobby Firmino steps up.
“We’ve seen fantastic performances in midfield from Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum, and before Naby Keita got injured he looked brilliant as well.
“And on top of that they now look like they have the best defensive unit in world football. Look at how many clean sheets they’ve got since Joe Gomez came back into the side.
“So, with all that in mind, can they break that record? I’m still not so sure. I don’t think it’s even an ambition at this stage. I think they’ll have razor sharp focus on winning the title and whatever plaudits and records come along with that, they’ll take them.”
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Pep Still Earning Plaudits
Indeed, Babb credits Manchester City with having brought the best out of this Liverpool side, the reigning European and Club World Cup champions.
Klopp’s side have a 14-point lead over City plus a game to spare, with Ladbrokes having already paid out on Liverpool as EPL champions, while others go as short as -5000, and in some ways the German has Guardiola to thank for that, says Babb.
“Manchester City have been fantastic – the more dominant side over the past two years in the league – they set this standard, breaking records with a phenomenal squad and a great manager,” he said.
“Jurgen has risen to that challenge. He saw what he needed to do with his squad, coming so close last season, and he knew that the only way to win the Premier League was to be even better.
“That’s probably the carrot that he dangled in front of the boys, saying ‘you’ve missed out but any other season you would have won it’ and encouraged them to go that bit better, and it seems to have spurred them on.”
Of course, nothing is mathematically certain just yet, with Liverpool still having to negotiate their way through 17 league games.
The odds are stacked firmly in their favour for a first league title since 1990, which will remain their primary aim above all else.
Next up for the Reds is the visit of old rivals Manchester United to Anfield, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side rated a best price of +700 for a win with Sugar House.