After finishing fifth in the Premier League last season, not many people were looking at Liverpool PL title odds with much optimism at the start of the season. And though the Reds are still yet to emulate the superlative days of autumn 2019 that boosted them to a first title in three decades, a second in just four years seems to be increasingly on the cards.
With 18 games to go, Liverpool are top of the Premier League table by three points, with Aston Villa currently their closest rival in second place. Despite that, Jurgen Klopp will be more concerned by Man City in third place, who trail them by five points but with a game in hand.
Memorably, they overturned a seven-point deficit to the Reds back in 2018/19, denying Liverpool what would ultimately have become their glut of successive titles since the 1980s.
The biggest concern of all for the Liverpool boss, however, is the loss of Mohamed Salah, who could be on international duty until the middle of February with Egypt at AFCON 2023. So the big question is: Can Liverpool maintain their current pace without their talismanic winger, and what do the odds say?
Liverpool PL title odds
Liverpool – 15/8
Despite being the current league leaders, Liverpool aren't the outright favourites to win the league. A combination of Salah's month-long absence and the looming Man City are the key contributing factors here but if they are still on top of the pile after this next month then they will fancy their chances.
Man City – 8/11 (favourites)
Ever since the start of the season, Man City have been the favourites to win the Premier League, and the bookmakers aren't budging yet. The Blues have won their last five matches in all competitions which suggests one of their imperious winning runs is on the cards. The more they win, the shorter these odds will become.
Arsenal – 15/2
Arsenal were considered second-favourites to win the PL title until very recently. However, they have picked up just one point from their last three league matches, which has cut them five points adrift of the Merseysiders. Arteta's men need to respond in the coming weeks if they are to stay in the race.
Can Liverpool win the league without Salah?
While the league title won't be won in the next month, it could be lost as far as Liverpool are concerned. Salah has once again been their most prolific forward, but unlike in previous seasons, where Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane weren't far behind, much of the supporting cast hasn't cut the mustard – yet.
Jota the key
Salah has scored 18 goals in all competitions for the Reds this season, with 14 of those coming in the Premier League. In second place, Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo have both managed to score nine goals each, while Darwin Nunez is on eight goals for the season.
The key for the next month will be ensuring Diogo Jota stays fit, as the Portuguese striker is the only man in the Liverpool squad who is close to Salah this season in terms of goals per 90 minutes. Salah is averaging 0.79 goals per 90 while Jota's record stands at 0.75 goals per 90. The main issue has been the niggling injuries that seem to follow the former Wolves man.
Last season, Jota missed four months of action with a calf injury, and has already missed a month of this season with another muscle problem. Yet, he returned over the Christmas period and scored a crucial goal away at Burnley – his 50th for the club – which contributed to Liverpool going top.
Can Nunez or Gakpo step up?
Last season, Liverpool spent roughly £125m on Gakpo and Nunez, but neither man has exactly set Anfield alight. Gakpo is perhaps a more natural finisher than Nunez, but has a habit of going missing in games while Nunez seems to have it all other than a decent finish.
Nunez has racked up 11 xG so far in the Premier League season, but has only found the back of the net on five occasions. He has already cost Liverpool points in certain matches, including away at Luton Town, while on other occasions, his poor finishing has been bailed out by Salah. Liverpool are waiting for it to click in front of goal, and they could really do with that happening in the next month.
For Cody Gakpo, the issue is more to do with his Premier League output. He has scored nine goals in all competitions, but only three of those have come in the Premier League. His best work has come in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, but Liverpool now need him to perform in the Premier League.