Yeah, you read that right. Liverpool are 22 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City, they have dropped only two points in their entire season and with just 12 matches to go, the fans should be celebrating their first Premier League in what felt like a millennium! There is an added incentive to that. Manchester City have been banned from Champions League and if the investigation proves the charges against them, they might be stripped off their 2014 Premier League title so that is a double bonus. But, even then, there is a chance that Liverpool might not get to win the Premier League this season. No, no one is going to slip. It is the Novel Coronavirus.
The Novel Coronavirus has hit the world hard and more than 80000 people are affected and several thousand have died. The Premier League has not been affected yet but Newcastle have gone one step ahead to ban handshakes in the training sessions. It has also hit the Serie A as multiple matches have been cancelled already or have been played in empty stadiums. With UEFA also in a fix about Euro 2020 as the matches would be hosted in multiple grounds. The campaign being cut short will discard all sorts of results such as there would be no relegation either.
With Coronavirus spreading all over the world like a plague and since none of the countries have been able to come with a wholesome solution, the chances of the league being cut short cannot be discarded. While asked whether this would affect the pre-season tour in Asia, Klopp said “Not yet, over pre-season we’ve not thought of changes yet. The biomedical department, all the advice we get from there.”
This raises the question that Liverpool are way above in the points table in the league and nothing can stop them in winning the tournament, but at the same time, there are more than nine matches to be played and the possibility, although very improbable, remains that Liverpool might lose nine of the remaining 11 matches and Manchester City catch up to them. This news can also affect the performance of the team if Klopp does not handle the team very carefully.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis