Liverpool likely to reach 49th game in unbeaten run, says Paul Merson
Liverpool are currently 36 unbeaten in the Premier League; their 49th game would be against Manchester City in early April
Last Updated: 31/12/19 10:46am
Liverpool are likely to reach the 49th game in their unbeaten run, which would come against Manchester City, in an attempt to rival Arsenal's Invincibles.
Merson also asks whether an Invincible Liverpool side would be more impressive than Arsenal's side of 2003/04, and insists the current Premier League title situation gives both Liverpool and City a better chance in the Champions League...
'49th game against Man City? Wow.'
"Liverpool have got this massive habit of winning matches even when they're not playing well, which is a fantastic trait to have.
"I haven't heard one person talk about Liverpool getting near the 49 unbeaten of Arsenal. It's never talked about, it's odd. You look at it and think: 'Who is going to beat them?'
"You have to score two or three goals to beat them, and they won't get beaten by a lesser team! They might get beaten by a top-six team, at a push, but there won't be a shock below that.
"Their 49th game would be against Manchester City at the Etihad. Wow. I think they are the only side that can stop them.
Liverpool's Premier League fixtures
|37||Sheff Utd (H)||Jan 2|
|38||Tottenham (A||Jan 11 (On Sky)|
|39||Man Utd (H)||Jan 19 (On Sky)|
|40||Wolves (A)||Jan 23|
|41||West Ham (A)||Jan 29|
|42||Southampton (H)||Feb 1|
|43||Norwich (A)||Feb 15|
|44||West Ham (H)||Feb 24 (On Sky)|
|45||Watford (A)||Feb 29 (On Sky)|
|46||Bournemouth (H)||March 7*|
|47||Everton (A)||March 14*|
|48||Palace (H)||March 21*|
|49||Man City (A)||April 4*|
|50||Aston Villa (H)||April 11*|
|*dates subject to change|
"Liverpool are more likely to get to the 49th game unbeaten than not. They could draw six of the next eight games and still win the league!
"They could get a player sent off in a game, say the goalkeeper, but they'd still play 4-3-2, and not much would change! Everything stays the same! They can still beat teams with 10 men.
"Liverpool could also rest 10 players before some Premier League games between now and the end of the season, but their priority will be to go on and win the Champions League rather than go unbeaten in the top flight.
"Personally? I'd rather go the whole season unbeaten! To go that long without winning the league, and to then win it without losing a game would be phenomenal."
Who is better: Arsenal Invincibles or Liverpool?
"It's a proper debate.
"When Arsenal went unbeaten, everybody in the league beat everybody. I don't see that happening now. In this day and age, I feel the top teams are far, far stronger than the lesser teams. Back then, you could go to third-bottom of the league on a Tuesday night and easily get beat.
"I think the lesser teams had more chance of beating the big boys in those days than now. Certain teams played a certain way, whereas teams play the same way now. Now, everybody tries to play from the back, and looks to play like-for-like.
"But if Liverpool do go unbeaten, it is a massive feat, and it will be a bigger achievement. Arsenal never had a Manchester City beside them, trying to avoid defeat against them twice in a season.
"And, arguably, Chelsea's team were probably better back then, Manchester United's team was far better back then, Arsenal's team was far better back then. This is a proper debate.
"You can make a really strong case for both, and it makes for a great debate."
'Title race makes City and Liverpool big CL players'
"Interestingly, both City and Liverpool have now become big players in the Champions League again, because the league is essentially over. Both teams can seriously rest eight or nine players before they play on the Tuesday or Wednesday. That's unusual for English teams.
"That's the situation we have now - before you were looking at Liverpool thinking they might even bin the Champions League, because they won it last year and they had a real chance to win the title, but now they're looking at it and seeing a free run. They could go for it all!
"It also helps Manchester City. They're out of the title race now so can rest players! It's huge."
'Arsenal didn't look like Wenger's team for 45 mins'
"For the first half against Chelsea, it didn't look like Arsene Wenger was in charge. And that's the biggest compliment I can give. They worked their socks off, but were never going to keep that up for 90 minutes, because they haven't done that in 10 years. That high pressure, closing down, Chelsea couldn't get out or put two or three passes together.
"You looked at Arsenal in that first half and thought: 'Well this is Arteta's team'. He'd got them closing down. But obviously, they were going to fade. Chelsea took advantage of that, and fair play to them.
"As time goes on, however, and Arteta's looks to place his stamp on the team, there are some bright sparks to take. The fitter they get, and the more they understand that closing-down game, I think they'll be alright, and I was quite impressed.
"Arteta has been around one of the best, and he has that way of talking. He's not going to come in and start effing and blinding."