Roy Keane has delivered his verdict on Liverpool’s title chances this season – and the Irishman’s prediction could potentially spell bad news for Manchester United.
The Merseysiders suffered a major downturn over the 2022/23 campaign with a late rally only enough to help them finish fifth. At one stage, Liverpool were as low as eighth and staring in the face their worst finish in the Premier League since the 1992/93 campaign when they were ninth.
However, a late surge of results spared them from that matching that nadir, with their recovery at least salvaging Europa League football. Nonetheless, it did represent the first time the Reds had finished outside the top four over a full season under Jurgen Klopp’s control.
As a result, Klopp realised his side needed badly freshening up, with the midfield area coming in for a serious rebuild. And with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho leading a six-strong departures list, Liverpool brought in four new players of their own to the combined tune of £145.2m.
Now a new-look Liverpool look to be back to their menacing best and they currently sit second, two points behind leaders Arsenal, heading into a double header of Premier League fixtures this week.
That begins for Klopp and Co with a trip to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Wednesday, before they head to Crystal Palace for a match on Saturday lunchtime. Victory in those games would put Liverpool top of the table, with Arsenal facing Luton away and then Aston Villa away on Saturday evening.
With Manchester City failing to win in three games, there is a real excitement that Liverpool could mount a title challenge, having last been crowned champions in 2020.
Roy Keane delivers Liverpool title verdict
Assessing their prospects, Man Utd legend Keane has explained why he thinks Liverpool are very much in contention this season.
His former club United are the team to have won the most English league titles in history, with 20 triumphs to their name – 13 of which came under legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Liverpool sit second on that list, just one behind with 19 triumphs.
Were they to wrestle the crown back off Manchester City this season, Liverpool would join United as the most decorated of all English league title winners.
Assessing their prospects, Keane told Sky Sports: “I wouldn’t bet against City but if you asked me two or three months ago, I would be City all day.
“Now I’m starting to be doubtful about them winning the title. There is a reason it hasn’t been won four years in a row. I’m certainly looking at Arsenal and Liverpool.”
Richard Keys rips into Klopp over Premier League complaint
If Liverpool are to win the title, they will need to carefully consider how best to use their squad, especially in light of a push for Europa League and potentially FA Cup glory, where they will face Arsenal in the third round.
Managing that workload will certainly be key, more over with Klopp less than happy at the way the Premier League tend to schedule their games.
Klopp has verbally expressed his anger at the way Liverpool games are allocated, especially given the number of times they are asked to play the 12.30 Saturday lunchtime game away from home.
Already this season, Liverpool have played Man City, Wolves and Everton in that slot – two of them after international breaks where the Reds had players in South America, Africa and Asia.
That is again their reality this weekend at Palace, with their latest outing coming less than 72 hours after their game at Sheffield United finishes. Klopp and their supporters feel the scheduling is all part of a conspiracy theory aimed at weakened their challenge.
However, BeInsports anchor Richard Keys is adamant Klopp’s moans are little more than hot air.
Keys stated: “If he’s got genuine complaints about that then he can nip upstairs and have a word with the general manager and tell him to tell broadcasters ‘we don’t want to be part of this,’ and then don’t take the money and don’t be involved.”
When pundit Jason McAteer challenged Keys by stating Klopp has made his feelings on the matter clear, Keys added:
“If that is a problem, then whoever represents him at the Premier League meetings should say ‘we’ve been scheduled too many times at 12:30 and we need to make a change’.
“I can tell you, it’s never been brought up once!”