Pep Guardiola

British bookmakers have re-instated Manchester City as favourites for the 2018/2019 English Premier League after Liverpool were only able to claim a draw last night away to West Ham.

The Reds now only lead City by three points – reduced from the nine point advantage they had enjoyed in late December, with their odds for the championship having reduced from 1/2 to 11/10 over the same period.

City, on the other hand, have enjoyed something of a revival so far in 2019. Despite a surprise defeat against Newcastle at the end of January – which Guardiola subsequently revealed he secretly believed had cost them the championship – the Sky Blues have clocked up an impressive 34 goals in their nine games so far in the new year, conceding only four over the same period, and have been reinstalled as favourites for the championship at odds of 5/6 by by Hill, Ladbrokes and SkyBet.

Liverpool Belief

Liverpool, on the other hand, appear to be stalling. Two consecutive 1-1 draws against Leicester and West Ham have compounded a critical away loss to City at the beginning of the year, leaving behind the swagger in play and general uber-confidence witnessed over the Christmas period that had many convinced that the championship was finally making its way back to Merseyside after a thirty-year absence.

After a slow new year start, however, the Reds were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle as commentators began to wonder whether the 2018/2019 campaign will ultimately define itself as a season of two contrasting halves for Jurgen Klopp’s men. The Reds have only once managed to score more than once in their five premiership games so far in 2019, in contrast with the 48 goals dispatched in their previous 20 league games, with some identifying tiredness as an overarching factor in the recent dip in form.

Klopp, who made no key signings over the recent transfer window, now takes the Reds into a condensed February fixture list that will witness a return to Champions League football against Bayern Munich before a potential season-defining visit to in-form Manchester United.