Former Liverpool man Danny Murphy has revealed the believes his former club have the upper hand over title rivals Chelsea, because they don’t rely as much on individual players.
Writing in the Evening Standard, Murphy said: “What I like about them this season is that, while none of the players has reached the standard Luis Suarez achieved when they nearly won the title in 2014, the team does not seem to suffer too much when individuals are missing.
“Other players had good seasons in 2013-14 but Suarez was a class apart, winning matches virtually on his own. This season, everyone is contributing.”
Turning his attention to Liverpool’s title rivals, Murphy said: “Chelsea are not the same without Eden Hazard or Diego Costa. Manchester City are not as threatening without Sergio Aguero.”
Costa is now banned for their Boxing Day clash with Bournemouth whilst City’s Aguero is set to return from his 4-match ban to face Liverpool on New Year’s Eve.
Chelsea are yet to play a league game this season without Costa whilst City plummeted to an embarrassing 4-2 defeat to Leicester following Aguero’s ban. Having said that, they beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Etihad on Sunday.
Murphy continued: “Philippe Coutinho has missed the past three league games due to injury and while Liverpool have taken only five points, the performances have generally been good.
“Just look through the team. Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson. All play key roles.” Not to mention Divock Origi who has scored five in five since being brought into the side.”
Lallana, Mane and Firmino have been directly involved in 31 goals altogether – with 18 goals and 13 assists between them – proving that the others are capable of producing just as much, if not more, than Coutinho, who has five goals and five assists to his name so far.
“I didn’t expect them to be in this race but Jurgen Klopp has his team playing with a level of confidence, energy and fitness that is hard to achieve,” Murphy admitted.
“While I tipped Chelsea for the title, I believe Liverpool can stay in the race until the end, especially with no European football to worry about.
“If Liverpool can keep the majority of their best players fit, they are capable of winning the title this season.”