The Premier League is back - but what shape are Liverpool in for the season restart?
Ahead of the Premier League's return on June 17, we run the rule over Jurgen Klopp's side, from fixtures and fitness to the manager's view and more...
- Liverpool's fixtures for Premier League return
- Premier League - all the new fixtures and dates
- Premier League table - as it stands
Analysis: History beckons for Liverpool
Sky Sports' Richard Morgan:
When the season was suddenly halted back in March by the coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool were within touching distance of finally ending their long wait for a top-flight title - a feat the club's fans were starting to think may never happen after a series of recent near misses.
Yes, the Reds had suffered a shock 3-0 loss at struggling Watford in their last away clash, but that was their first defeat of the entire campaign. And having dropped only five points to that point, Klopp's team are on course to smash Man City's record-breaking 100-point haul from 2017-18 in their last nine fixtures.
And while it would take a monumental collapse for Liverpool not to get the two wins they need to be ensured of the title, Klopp has urged his players to win all of their remaining games.
"The problem at the moment is that we still have to become one (champions)," he told Sky in Germany. "I am not sitting here and want to doubt that, but I also know that we want to win football matches and not only two, but if possible nine.
"This can become historic, I have to say so clearly. And not only club historical, but historical in general. We have the chance to get an unbelievable number of points and so we prepare ourselves and then we will see what comes out of it."
Liverpool kick things off with of all encounters, the Merseyside derby on the first weekend back, a clash that could see the club claim its first top-flight title since 1990 were they to win it and City to lose at home to Arsenal four days earlier.
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The Reds also face a tough-looking visit to the champions in their next away trip, before closing out the season with eye-catching contests at Arsenal and at home to Champions League-chasing Chelsea.
Overall, Klopp's side will face opponents with an average league position of 10.6 in their final nine matches of the season.
Sunday June 21
Everton vs Liverpool
Kick-Off: 7pm; Live on Sky Sports and Sky Pick
Wednesday June 24
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
Kick-Off: 8.15pm; Live on Sky Sports
Thursday July 2
Man City vs Liverpool
Kick-Off: 8.15pm; Live on Sky Sports
Sunday July 5
Liverpool vs Aston Villa
Kick-Off: 4.30pm; Live on Sky Sports
Wednesday July 8
Brighton vs Liverpool
Kick-Off: 8.15pm; Live on Sky Sports
Saturday July 11
Liverpool vs Burnley
Arsenal vs Liverpool
Liverpool vs Chelsea
Newcastle United vs Liverpool
Where can they finish?
In case you missed the memo, Liverpool are a maximum of just two victories away from mathematically securing a maiden Premier League crown and a first top-flight title in 30 years, with their first two games back being a trip to city rivals Everton, followed by a home match against midtable Crystal Palace.
In fact, as Jamie Carragher stated recently on 'The Football Show', Liverpool have in all probability already won the championship given that Pep Guardiola's team are unlikely to win all of their remaining fixtures.
Either way, the Reds are guaranteed at least a top-two finish this season, although it would take the biggest collapse in English football history were they to finish runners-up for the second season in a row.
Any other commitments?
No, the Premier League will be Liverpool's sole focus when they resume playing and were they to get over the line, it would add to their triumphs earlier this campaign in the European Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup.
However domestically, the Reds have already exited the Carabao Cup - their youthful side losing 5-0 at Aston Villa at the quarter-final stage - and the FA Cup - going down 2-0 at Chelsea in the Fifth Round just before the season was temporarily halted.
Is everyone fit and available?
The break probably came at a good time for Liverpool, who could not only rest their players' aching bodies after a ferocious opening 29 games of the campaign in which the team appeared to be operating at full throttle throughout, but it also allowed time for those in the treatment room to recover.
And that means Klopp will now be able to call upon the services of influential goalkeeper Alisson Becker for their return encounter with Everton, after the Brazil No 1's recovery from a hip injury sustained in training in March.
Meanwhile, Xherdan Shaqiri should also be back to full fitness after a long-running calf problem, so expect to see the Switzerland forward on the bench after the Premier League agreed to allow up to five substitutes per game when the action resumes.
What form were they in before the break?
Klopp's team had actually looked at their scratchiest just prior to the enforced lay-off, squeezing past struggling Bournemouth 2-1 after going behind early on at Anfield in their last league outing on March 7.
A week earlier, the seemingly unstoppable Reds had tasted defeat in the top flight for the first time all season, an unexpected 3-0 reverse at relegation-threatened Watford ending the club's bid to go the entire campaign unbeaten.
However, heading to Vicarage Road at the end of February, Liverpool had won 18 straight Premier League matches to leave them with one hand on the title.
What's the manager said?
Klopp has insisted that Liverpool will do everything in their power to prepare for what he expects to be a competition as competitive as usual.
"We will be in the best possible shape we can be," he said in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports. "You know from pre-seasons, managers usually say, 'We don't know where exactly we stand at this moment, we need maybe one, two, three or four games to know more about our situation'.
"But now, the challenge is that we all have to be ready for the first game, whenever it will be. That's interesting. Our game is, for different reasons, always different.
"You never have the same game again. You never have the same situation again. Everything can be perfect for a second, then you have injured players and you have to adapt to that.
"Now it's a situation we don't know. None of us know when we will start. The earlier they can tell us, the better it is, of course.
"But for all the teams, it's the same, and that's what makes a competition. If all the teams have the same circumstances, then you have a proper competition. That's what we are preparing for."
The betting - can Salah make it three successive Golden Boots?
Mohamed Salah has claimed the Premier League Golden Boot for the past two campaigns, albeit the Egyptian had to settle for sharing it with team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season. Salah currently has 16 league goals to his name, just three behind leader Jamie Vardy, but Liverpool's run-in includes matches against Brighton, Newcastle, Aston Villa and Burnley, so a third successive Golden Boot may not be too far away. The 5/1 price is way too generous for a finisher as lethal as the Reds forward.
Watch the Premier League with Sky Sports
Sky Sports will show 64 live Premier League games when the season resumes. In addition to the 39 matches already scheduled to be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports before the coronavirus interruption, 25 more matches will be available on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky's free-to-air Pick channel, allowing the whole nation to be part of the return of live sport.
Free-to-watch highlights of every remaining Premier League game this season will be available from shortly after the full-time whistle on the Sky Sports website, Sky Sports App and Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.