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Liverpool on course to celebrate Premier League title at Everton

Liverpool on course to celebrate Premier League title at Everton
© Reuters
If the top flight's leading teams keep up their current point averages, the Reds would clinch the trophy in their game at Goodison Park on March 14.

Liverpool are on course to wrap up the Premier League at the home of rivals Everton in March.

If the top flight's leading teams keep up their current point averages, the Reds would clinch the trophy after their game at Goodison Park on March 14.

With eight games remaining, that would be comfortably a record for the earliest title coronation in the Premier League era as well as a chance to lord it over their neighbours.

Get the party started

Liverpool v Manchester City: projected points this season
Liverpool are on course to win the title with eight games to spare (PA graphic)

Liverpool's near-perfect record had their fans singing "we're going to win the league" as they beat Manchester United on Sunday, though Klopp insisted he and his players "will not be part of that party yet".

They lead by 16 points with a game in hand and average 2.9 per game compared to second-placed Manchester City's 2.1 – those rates have them on course to lead by 24.7 points, rounding to 25, with eight games remaining and therefore 24 to play for.

That would obliterate the record set by Manchester United in 2001 and matched by City two years ago – both of those squads won the league with five games to go.

Liverpool's current lead is a record at this stage of the season – they have played 22 games, compared to 23 for all of their rivals – with City's 100-point 2017-18 campaign providing the only real precedent.

Pep Guardiola is thrown in the air by his players as Manchester City celebrate the 2017-18 title
Liverpool are similarly dominant to Manchester City's 2018 champions (Martin Rickett/PA)

Pep Guardiola's men were 15 points clear after 22 games and though that was briefly cut to 12, they pulled away again to an eventual record winning margin of 19.

United led by 11 from surprise challengers Sunderland at this stage of their 2000-01 title win. The Black Cats faded to finish seventh, leaving Arsenal and Liverpool in pursuit as United's lead peaked at 16 points with five games left – they finished 10 clear.

The Red Devils had won by 18 the previous season – also a record until beaten by City's centurions – but their lead did not hit double figures until their 31st game and was constant at 13 for much of the run-in before a final flourish.

Arsenal's "Invincibles" of 2003-04 only re-took top spot in the table by winning game 22 of their season, though they won the title with four games to spare and by an eventual 11-point margin.

United left in the shade

Manchester United players protest to referee Craig Pawson, third left, during their loss to Liverpool
Sunday's result deepened Manchester United's frustration (Martin Rickett/PA)

Victory on Sunday also stretched Liverpool's lead over opponents United to 30 points – just one fewer than the final margin between the two sides last season.

Liverpool's breathtaking pursuit of champions City last term brought them 97 points, a record for a Premier League team not winning the title and 31 clear of United's sixth-placed tally of 66. Even then, the gap was 'only' 16 at this stage of the season.

For much of the Premier League era, Sir Alex Ferguson's United teams dominated Liverpool – and most of the other competition – and it is only in recent years that the balance has shifted.

Liverpool finished 20 ahead of United in 2013-14, when Brendan Rodgers' side were runners-up to City, but took until the 26-game mark for the margin to reach double figures.

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Virgil van Dijk scores for Liverpool against Manchester United in the Premier League on January 19, 2020.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool27261064174779
2Manchester CityMan City27183668293957
3Leicester CityLeicester27155754272750
4Chelsea2713594537844
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd27118841291241
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs2711794436840
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27101072925440
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2791263832639
9Arsenal2781363936337
10Burnley27114123339-637
11Everton27106113641-536
12Southampton27104133448-1434
13Crystal Palace2789102432-833
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2787122441-1731
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610113239-728
16Bournemouth2775152643-1726
17Aston Villa2774163452-1825
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2766153248-1624
19Watford2759132443-1924
20Norwich CityNorwich2746172451-2718

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