Tuesday 3 March 2015 07:16, UK
Liverpool are the in-form team of 2015 in the Premier League – and the stats suggest they’re on course for a strong finish.
In each of Brendan Rodgers’ full two seasons in charge at Anfield, Liverpool have recorded a significantly increased points-per-game ratio from January onwards - and have only lost one game in the second half of a campaign under his charge.
The trend is seemingly continuing this term, following their 2-1 win over Manchester City.
Liverpool averaged 1.47 points per game between August and December this season. However, since the turn of the year they have taken 20 points from a possible 24 – a return of 2.5 points per game.
In 2013/14, after registering 1.89 points per game to December 31, Liverpool went on to average 2.53 points per game as they mounted a title challenge that included an 11-game winning streak in the top flight.
Remarkably, a similar trend appeared in Rodgers’ first season at the helm, when Liverpool improved their 1.47 points-per-game average to 2.50 between January and May.
Graeme Souness, speaking on Sky Sports after seeing his former team record their eighth win in 10 Premier League games on Sunday against City, reckons the club’s current form could propel them into a third-placed finish this season.
Liverpool are currently fifth, two points behind Manchester United in fourth and three points adrift of third-placed Arsenal.
“Momentum is key at this stage of the season,” Souness said. “From Christmas they’ve been fabulous. Liverpool, after that game against City, can think it’s onwards and upwards. They are going to take some stopping, whoever they play. I can see them getting into the top four, if not third.”
Rodgers, meanwhile, insisted his focus was firmly on Liverpool’s next game, at home to Burnley, but conceded his club’s form had reignited their top four ambitions after a slow start.
“We need to concentrate on Burnley but our points total and performances have been very, very good,” he said.
“If we can get into the top four this season it will be a better achievement than last season, in terms of how we started the season and the creation of another team.”