In the aftermath of the first winter World Cup, it will be interesting to see how the Premier League’s so-called big teams fit back into the routine of games every 2-3 days. With such a compact schedule as a result of the World Cup in the middle of the season, it will be straight back into the thick of the action for Premier League’s biggest stars, with the league commencing again on Boxing Day.
Liverpool can count themselves fortunate as most of their first team has come back from the tournament unscathed by injury, with only Ibrahima Konate going all the way to the final with his native France, seemingly fit but will surely require few days break from training. Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running with a victory against Aston Villa on Boxing Day after the Red’s inconsistent start to the season.
With Mo Salah resting at home whilst many of his league rivals were playing in Qatar, Klopp will hope Salah’s freshness enables him to start smashing in the goals and guide his team up the table.
But where will Liverpool finish this season? Oliver Hopkins for The Analyst has used Opta’s supercomputer to use the data collected from the season so far to predict the final league table of the 22/23 season. It predicts that Liverpool will bounce back from their lackluster start to the campaign, with Klopp’s men given a 76.2% chance of finishing in third place, behind Manchester City, who are given a 74.8% chance of winning the title, with Arsenal in second.
Given Liverpool’s uneven start to the season, their plethora of injuries since August, and in light of how good Arsenal and Manchester City have turned out to be this year, I guess that many Liverpool would be reasonably happy with a third-place finish. Liverpool are still in the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, so there is still plenty of opportunity for Jurgen Klopp to guide his squad to a successful season, even if they have been given little chance of winning the Premier League.