Though it’s not yet official official, Thursday brought the most exciting news for Premier League fans for some time, with reports revealing there is now a set date for the return of top flight football; 17 June.
It’s been such a long period of abstinence – with other issues, understandably, pushing football to the fringes of people’s minds – that you may need a refresher to get back up to speed with where we all were when we left off back in March.
What you probably haven’t forgotten is that Liverpool were top, 25 points clear and on the verge of clinching their first title since England’s top tier was rebranded as the Premier League.
They’ll have to do it in front of any empty stadium but it seems little can stop the Reds from their title now. Here’s how and when they can seal the deal…
What do Liverpool need now to win the Premier League?
Two more wins. It’s as simple as that.
City may have a game in hand over Jurgen Klopp’s men but the maximum points tally they can get in 2019/20 is now 87 – if they win all their remaining games.
Two more victories takes Liverpool to 88 points and an unassailable advantage. However, if City lose their game in hand (at home to Arsenal), it’s just one more win.
When and where can Liverpool win the Premier League?
Assuming City don’t drop points – their next three games are Arsenal (home), Burnley (home) and Chelsea (away) – it’s a case of how quickly Liverpool can pick up six points.
Liverpool’s next game before the coronavirus-enforced hiatus was Everton (away), with Crystal Palace (home) coming after.
Following that, the Reds are due to travel to Man City and then welcome Aston Villa. This is, of course, assuming that fixtures can and will be fulfilled at each club’s home venue.
However, whether it’s won home or away now matters less with fans not allowed in grounds to see it either way.
Bizarrely, considering the circumstances, if Liverpool seal the title by the Villa match, they will equal the record for the quickest ever Premier League title win (by number of games remaining).
What other records can Liverpool still set?
Along with the ‘quickest’ ever title win – currently set at five games to spare by Man City (2017/18) and Man Utd (2000/01) – Liverpool can also set new records for the most wins in a season (City’s have the current record at 32) and the highest points total (again, City with 100 points).
Six more victories from nine will secure both honours outright, with the Reds currently on 82 points.
Mohamed Salah is also on 16 goals for the campaign, three off top scorer Jamie Vardy and is chasing down a third consecutive Golden Boot – a feat only ever achieved by greats Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry.
What are the biggest obstacles remaining for Liverpool in the title race?
The Merseyside derby is obviously a huge game regardless of the circumstances, while the City fixture could be tetchy if the Reds are not already officially champions by then.
There’s also Arsenal and Chelsea left to face, but both come much later on, when in all probability the outcomes will matter little.
In reality, the biggest obstacle remains out of the players’ control, with the ability to safely fulfil the Premier League’s remaining fixtures amid a pandemic the largest uncertainty.