Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Liverpool is the new Tottenham Hotspur – and that makes the Premier League a bit more difficult

Everyone except Liverpool.

It is a feeling, even a movement that has become more important in recent weeks as supporters are more and more aware that the Reds are able to end their 29-year waiting period to become England's champion.

Everyone except Liverpool.

In some ways, this is the ultimate backhand compliment, an acceptance that has made Jurgen Klopp a team that can tear the Premier League crown out of the grip of Manchester City champion.

However, it is a problem that will make life a bit more difficult for the Reds.

And it's one of those things that Tottenham Hotspur, the other team involved in a three-way scrap for the title, is all too aware of.

Rewind three years. Spurs have been in the title mix in recent weeks, but almost every neutral supported Leicester City to win the crown.

This was especially evident when Chelsea and her followers enjoyed the final killer blow against the twitching body of Tottenham's title bid.

A Chelsea fan holds up a banner celebrating Leicester City as champions after a 2-1 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur
A Chelsea fan holds up a banner celebrating Leicester City as champions after a 2-1 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur

As a London rival and outgoing champion, Chelsea was naturally more than motivated.

And that's the case with two natural rivals from Liverpool.

Few would argue that Everton fans would win the Premier League much earlier – or even Tottenham.

And although they are neighbors, United States fans would rather have a triumph than City, rather than Liverpool raising the trophy.

If that seems strange, Liverpool has not won the title since 1990. City has won three times this decade. United followers have been anesthetized, albeit not immune, to anesthetizing the neighbors leading the way. They would find it hard to swallow Anfield's fame.

Do people really want Manchester City to win the Premier League ahead of Liverpool?
Do people really want Manchester City to win the Premier League ahead of Liverpool?

But is that really important?

Well, given that Liverpool still needs to go to Old Trafford and Goodison, it does a bit.

City also have to go to United, but due to the obligations of the FA Cup, the game could be changed later in the season to a date where play for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fewer players.

Regardless, their fans will be eager for their team to spoil Liverpool's challenge.

The boot has been on the other foot, and scatters have been cast on several occasions.

Already in 1992, Liverpool's 2-0 victory prevented United from winning their first title in 25 years – they had to wait another 12 months to end the wait – during a bad 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea on the 2010 World Cup End of the season was another challenge facing the United States in favor of the Londoners.

Most famous, however, was the time when the Reds United did a favor and Blackburn Rovers defeated in 1995 on the last day 2-1. United won the title with a win at West Ham United, but could only win 1-1.

To date, the title success of Blackburn Rovers in 1995 is the only time that the Premier League trophy was raised in Anfield.

Jamie Carragher, who spoke with ECHO this week, said winning the title was all the sweeter given the rising number of prayers to the contrary.

But he also believes that there are many in the game who would welcome the change that Anfield championship would bring.

This was certainly the case in 2014. Not that it benefited Liverpool.

Ultimately, as proven in every other campaign, the task remains the same. Win your games. The rest is just noise – even though it may be louder than others on some days.

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