With Liverpool three points behind Man City in the title race, the Reds cannot afford any more slip-ups when they travel to Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.
Original article published 29 August 2022
Jurgen Klopp's men were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Tottenham last time out, a result that temporarily put them top of the standings due to their better goal difference over City.
However, Liverpool didn't stay at the summit for long as the Citizens produced a dominant performance to beat Newcastle 5-0 on Sunday, sending Pep Guardiola's side three points clear and, potentially crucially, four goals better off than the Reds.
With just three games of the campaign remaining, it looks like City will be hard to catch and a sixth Premier League trophy appears to be just a matter of weeks away.
Saying that, the Citizens, who are 1/10 to win the title, were 12 points clear in February, only to then allow Liverpool to close the gap, so the Reds will still feel they have a chance of ending up with the Premier League crown for the second time in their history, available at odds of 7/1.
First things first, Klopp's troops need to get the job done at Aston Villa and there is no guarantee the visitors will be heading back to Merseyside with all three points, especially given the fact Villa boss Steven Gerrard will be eager to showcase his managerial credentials to his former - and possibly future - employers.
The 41-year-old has made a bright start to management since deciding to hang up his boots in 2016, as he helped Rangers win the Scottish Premiership in the 2020/21 campaign before then heading for Villa in November last year.
Gerrard has picked up 10 victories from 22 league games in charge of the Premier League outfit and there is genuine excitement as to what he can do at the club next season, if given the funds to bring in reinforcements in the summer.
The Liverpool legend didn't make life easy for the Reds in the reverse fixture back in December, as Villa only lost 1-0 at Anfield and Gerrard's men can be backed at 6/1 to claim the spoils, while the draw is priced at 7/2 and the visitors are 9/20 to triumph.
Liverpool's appetite and desire cannot be questioned this season and the fact they are still in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple is remarkable.
However, there is the feeling that the battle for the remaining three trophies (the League Cup is already in the bag) is starting to take its toll on the squad, and this week, in particular, is a crucial one for the Reds.
Another slip-up could effectively see them out of the title race and that could then have a knock-on effect for Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley.
The Blues only have the FA Cup as a source of silverware this season so they will be doing all they can to deliver for Thomas Tuchel, so there could be more disappointment for Klopp's men to come in the capital.
While the pressure is firmly on Liverpool, who are also into the Champions League final, they have found a way time and time again this season to get the job done.
Although they only drew with Spurs last time out, this extended the Reds' unbeaten streak across all competitions to 14 matches, while they have also gone the same amount of games on the road without suffering defeat.
Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane have been in impressive form of late and both scored in the 3-2 victory at Villarreal, which was Liverpool's last away assignment.
In terms of form on the road in the league, Klopp's men have only lost twice from 17 games and they have won five of their previous six away contests - four of those coming to nil.
Villa have lost three of their last five home matches to nil and another Liverpool win with a clean sheet could be a good betting route to go down at odds of 6/4.
This may have been a tight affair at Anfield earlier in the season but this fixture has, generally, produced plenty of goals down the years.
Barring the most recent clash in December, eight of the last nine meetings between Villa and Liverpool have seen over 2.5 goals, while five of those have produced over 3.5 strikes.
It is 8/13 for there to be over 2.5 goals in Tuesday's contest, while over 3.5 is priced at 6/4.