With a third of the Premier League season already completed, a supercomputer has crunched the numbers and predicted where Liverpool will end 2023/24.
Klopp’s side have picked up 28 points from their opening 13 league games, and Opta Analyst‘s ‘Season Simulation’ tool suggests Liverpool are on course to finish runners-up in the league table.
The statistics indicate that the Reds have a 12.3% chance of capturing a 20th league crown in 2023/24, with Pep Guardiola’s Man City predictably topping the pile on 75.6%.
Despite currently looking down on the rest, Arsenal have been given an 11% chance of ending their 20-year wait for a league title and are set to finish third if you trust the data!
Perhaps surprisingly, Aston Villa are forecasted to fill the final spot in the top four, having made an impressive start to their campaign under Unai Emery so far.
The Champions League will of course be increasing in size from the start of next season, meaning that there is a chance that five English teams could compete in the competition in 2024/25.
If that were to be the case, Opta believes that Newcastle will take their place in Europe’s elite club competition for the second straight year after a two-decade-long hiatus.
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The table makes bad reading for Man United, who are projected to finish as low as eighth if the stats are to be believed!
At the other end of the table, our blue neighbours are fancied to survive the drop despite being handed a 10-point deduction by the Premier League for financial breaches.
Let’s take a look at the computer’s league table in full:
With time ticking away, FSG have settled an important Anfield contract question, while the upcoming FA Cup draw is causing excitement. Here's your round-up of the latest Liverpool news.
Liverpool agrees new contract
It's been a big week for Conor Bradley. He was handed his first appearance since the start of pre-season as a late substitute against LASK, following a months-long injury layoff. Now, the club has announced that the 20-year-old has signed a new contract.
However, there was some nagging unease, with his contract set to expire in the summer. The Athletic reported back in July that Bradley was poised to sign a three-year deal, but nothing had previously come of that, and the defender was months away from being able to start negotiating a free transfer with foreign clubs.
Now that his future has been settled, focus can turn to how Jürgen Klopp intends to accommodate Bradley. If nothing else, he has an excellent understudy to Trent Alexander-Arnold at his disposal — but perhaps the long-term plan could see the number 66 move into midfield at last, opening up a gap for the latest hot talent off the Academy conveyor belt.Liverpool home shirt 2023/2024 Get the Liverpool home kit
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Prolific striker wants Anfield draw
It's always hard to comprehend professional footballers who profess not to have any great love for the game. There's nothing inherently wrong with that — plenty of people are not passionate for their job — but it's difficult to understand how somebody with no real interest in the sport could get to the rarefied levels required to make it as a pro.
Yet it doesn't seem to be holding back Alfie May. "I'm not a big football lover," he confessed, via the Mirror. But that hasn't stopped League One's top scorer from having an Anfield dream — if only for the sake of his father.
“If we can get a big [FA Cup] draw, I’d want Anfield away. I’m not a big football lover but my dad’s a big Liverpool fan. That’d be a great trip, wouldn’t it?”
May, 30, has netted 14 times in the league already this season, the same number Erling Haaland has managed in the Premier League. His Charlton side will aim to win away at Gillingham today in order to secure passage to the third round. That would be worth an initial $85k (£67k/€78k), although the big windfall would come from a bumper draw against a big side.
The third-round draw will take place tomorrow, with Liverpool set to find out its FA Cup fate shortly before playing Fulham. It is ball 21. May will be looking out for ball 58, which will either be his side or Gillingham — and could nearly have been Cray Valley Paper Mills, with Charlton requiring a replay to squeeze past the minnows in the first round.
The Reds are back in action at Anfield on Sunday as Marco Silva’s side look to spoil a run of 10 consecutive home victories for Liverpool so far this season.
“They have very creative set pieces, really creative, so we need to make sure we prepare for that properly,” explained Klopp during his pre-match press conference.
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“Marco is a top manager, he’s doing a brilliant job in a strong league, I’m not saying they are overachieving but they are doing particularly well and it’s a really good football team.
“With Jimenez up front, Vinicius, and then one of the greatest, the little curly one, one of the greatest the Premier League ever saw, who is still going and going and going [Willian] and Pereira.
“It’s just a good football team, well set up and it makes it special, and their little stadium there, they can create a proper atmosphere and we’ve had our struggles there.
“But this time it’s at Anfield, it’s home and we have to make sure it will be extremely difficult for them.”
Willian was linked with a move to Anfield prior to his switch to Chelsea back in 2013, but he had a hand in ending Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a Premier League crown despite never pulling on a red shirt.
The Brazilian scored a penalty against Man City in the game that mathematically sealed the title for the Reds in 2019/20, a fixture that the squad watched together from a team hotel.
While the choice may raise a few eyebrows, Klopp’s respect for Willian is vindicated by his 46 goals and 43 assists in the English top flight to date.
Jude Bellingham has to be among the very early front-runners for next year’s Ballon d’Or. Much depends on how Real Madrid fares across various competitions, but it’s never a bad bet to suggest the Spanish giant will go far in Europe, and this season its success is being spearheaded by the English sensation.
Nobody could have predicted just how well he would start in the Spanish capital. Bellingham recently surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the most goals in an opening 15 games for the club, scoring 14 across a blistering introduction to La Liga life.
Even those who swore Bellingham would be a massive success cannot have seen this coming. The player who was being chased by the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City was a scintillating blend of everything you could want in a midfielder — Real Madrid has wasted no time in essentially making him a second striker, effectively picking up the slack left by Karim Benzema’s departure.
Clearly, this has to go down as a masterstroke. But Liverpool will not be filled with too much regret either, despite missing out on such a mercurial talent — its attack needs no reinforcement, while the summer saw a highly effective midfield refresh carried out at Anfield.
Giving up on Bellingham early, Liverpool moved on to other plans, and was able to wrap up a swift deal for Alexis Mac Allister by triggering his release clause. Not long after that, Dominik Szoboszlai was brought through the door, also courtesy of a clause.
Mac Allister has been given something like the reverse Bellingham treatment, with Liverpool signing a number 10 and moving him right the way back to number six. As a result, while the Englishman’s move has been more explosive than expected, the Argentine’s has been more understated.
But under the surface, the pair have been performing very similarly. Over the past year, during which time both Mac Allister and Bellingham have played in a variety of midfield positions, the Liverpool player ranks as the single most statistically similar player to the Real Madrid man, per respected website FBref.
That will presumably change once the goal threat from Mac Allister’s Brighton days starts to filter out of the rolling year-long assessment, but there are significant similarities in the two players’ skill-sets. If nothing else, not many could flit between such disparate positions and still look at home in an elite side.Sign up for our EXCLUSIVE Liverpool.com newsletter!
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But then things start to get really strange. Second on FBref’s list of similar players to Bellingham is none other than Szoboszlai — and moving down to sixth, Harvey Elliott can be found too.
No other club has more than one representative on the list of similar players to Bellingham. Without actually having him, Liverpool seems to have effectively constructed a midfield full of players like the former Borussia Dortmund man.
Indeed, fielding a trio of Mac Allister, Szoboszlai and Elliott is far from outlandish, given how Jürgen Klopp is using the former Brighton star. It could even be the starting midfield against Fulham, given how well Elliott did in midweek against LASK.
One midfield which has been used fairly regularly involves Ryan Gravenberch in place of Elliott. The Dutchman misses out on a place on the Bellingham list — but reversing the search, and looking for players most similar to the Liverpool star, Bellingham is right there at number one.
This is genuinely uncanny. Obviously, FBref is not the font of all knowledge, but its player comparison tool is built solely on cold, hard data. For Liverpool to have as many as four players with such notable similarities to Bellingham, a player it pursued so hard for such a long time, seems unlikely to be pure coincidence.
The great thing about having so many players similar to Bellingham is that it means Klopp has an array of uncommonly multi-faceted midfielders. As a result, they can all be fielded together, producing a genuinely world-class engine room.
Given that this was last season’s major problem area, the speed and scale of the turnaround is astonishing. Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Elliott and Gravenberch will need to work hard to earn continued comparisons to Bellingham, but it’s safe to say that Liverpool’s midfield is in excellent hands.
Liverpool got back to winning ways going into the weekend's clash with Fulham at Anfield on Sunday. The Reds recorded a resounding win against Austrian side LASK to top their Europa League group, and in the process avoided having to play in the extra play-off round, which would've added two further games to Jürgen Klopp's schedule.
Attention will now shift to the game against Fulham and keeping the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table. The three sides are separated by just two points, and with City hosting Tottenham and Arsenal welcoming Wolves to North London, there is the chance Liverpool could sit atop the Premier League mountain should results go its way over the weekend.
Jürgen Klopp has a relatively full-strength squad to pick from, barring the usual long-term injuries. Only Alisson and Diogo Jota are short-term casualties, and the pair will miss the game against Fulham and likely the away trip to Sheffield United.
As ever, we bring you the best stories around Liverpool each and every day. Here are the latest Liverpool.com stories that you can't afford to miss.Jürgen Klopp issues Newcastle warning to Liverpool players
We're entering the period in the English football calendar where the games come thick and fast. With Liverpool playing in three competitions across the month of December, squad rotation is vital in keeping the squad fresh, with a game every three days on average. Jürgen Klopp has spoken on the issue, citing Newcastle as an example of the challenges of juggling multiple competitions. Learn more from James Findlater by clicking here.Alan Shearer states 'love' for Anfield
Anfield has always been regarded as one of the game's special venues. How often have we heard about players, at home and abroad, stating their desire to play in front of the Kop?
Alan Shearer is the latest legend of English football to reveal his admiration for playing at Anfield, with the former England striker playing at the iconic ground some 31 times in his career with Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle.
"I always used to love going to Anfield. I loved the ground. I loved the atmosphere," he told the Rest is Football podcast.
“I don't know, maybe I'm wrong but I always felt that you got a bit more respect as a player. If you were a half-decent player you got a little bit more respect at Anfield than you did in a lot of grounds." Read more from James Findlater by clicking here.
Our tipster Jones Knows takes aim at the Premier League, sprinkling his analysis over the weekend card and is all over Newcastle to beat Man Utd.Arsenal vs Wolves, Saturday 3pm - PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
In the words of Gary Neville, we are now approaching "the winter slog - where you get rid of the pretenders".
This is the period where Arsenal may just win the Premier League title for which they can be backed at 100/30 with Sky Bet. Mikel Arteta has developed a team built for the winter slog.
Full of grit. Full of defensive solidity.
And they just could be about to put a lengthy unbeaten run together. Wolves arrive with Arsenal unbeaten in their last 10 home games, winning eight and scoring 16 goals in their last four.Image: The Super 6 Christmas Rollover is coming to town. Play for free for a chance to win £250,000. Entries by 3pm Saturday.
Suspensions to key midfield duo Joao Gomes and Mario Lemina, along with the continued absence of Pedro Neto should make this a potentially comfortable afternoon for Arsenal but we need to get creative to boost their win price of 1/4 with Sky Bet. There is a way to get us to near Evens by adding Wolves to be awarded more booking points than Arsenal through the Bet Builder.
Wolves have committed the most fouls (179) and racked up the second most yellow cards (40) this season while Arsenal's opponents have been shown more cards in all the last seven fixtures. Despite being a physical outfit and difficult to beat, the Gunners have been shown the fewest yellow cards this season (17). They are the gentle giants.SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0 Brentford vs Luton, Saturday 3pm - PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
With Brentford possessing the height and defensive metrics to negate Luton's main weapon from set pieces, it's hard to see how Rob Edwards' team can cause too many problems for the Bees. A home win is strongly fancied - but at 4/9 with Sky Bet it's a price I can let win without backing.
My eyes have been drawn to Luton skipper Tom Lockyer in the fouls committed and yellow card markets. Brentford's spunky attacking duo of Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa are real livewires, who between them since Ivan Toney's suspension are drawing a combined ratio of 3.2 fouls per 90 minutes and have drawn eight yellow cards for fouls in those 16 Premier League matches.
Lockyer does lack for pace and has been carded four times already this campaign, whilst committing nine fouls in his last seven appearances, where he made two or more fouls against Palace, Forest and Tottenham. Combing him to be carded (100/30 with Sky Bet) and to make two or more fouls (3/1 with Sky Bet) using the Bet Builder equates to a chunky 8/1 shot to attack.SCORE PREDICTION: 3-0Burnley vs Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm
Christmas trees are going up and still no Premier League manager has been sacked. Five managers had already departed at this stage last season so it's an unusual situation. You can still get 200/1 with Sky Bet on no Premier League manager being sacked this season.
There is a feeling that we might be at breaking point though with one of these two teams, whose managers are doing a fine job of eroding their impressive work of last season.
Sheffield United's shoots of recovery have quickly been trampled back down into the dirt with a woeful display at home to Bournemouth and Paul Heckingbottom must be feeling the heat, especially with someone of the stature of Chris Wilder waiting in the shadows. Burnley are a feeble side themselves, lacking any sort of leadership in key areas of the pitch but their process is on the up with a clear pattern of play to get their creative front three into dangerous areas. That should be enough to nick this. The 2/1 with Sky Bet for them to win to nil makes sense.SCORE PREDICTION: 1-0Nottingham Forest vs Everton, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports - PLAY SUPER 6 HERE! Image: N Forest vs Everton, live on Sky Sports
We've got to the point with Premier League matches now where if over 2.5 goals are trading on the cusp of Evens it must be considered as a bet. The goals continue to flow at an astonishing rate.
With 130 games played this season, the total per game average stands at 3.11. If this ratio remains consistent to that level for the remainder, it's going to soar past the previous Premier League record of goals per game average which was recorded last season at 2.85. There are no signs of that rate slowing either as 15 of the last 20 matches have seen over 2.5 goals land which has taken the overall strike rate to 64 per cent for matches this season producing three or more goals. Again, that is way up on the usual Premier League average which sits at 52 per cent.
This trend does make the 5/4 with Sky Bet on both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals one of the best punts of the weekend.
Everton, who need to be picking up maximum points from fixtures of this nature now following their deduction, have a 68 per cent strike rate of their games in all competitions breaching the over 2.5 line. Meanwhile, Forest's games have seen a huge spike in goals over the last few weeks with 3.8 goals seen per 90 when assessing their last five fixtures. Goals look on the menu in a game that finished 2-2 last season.SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2 | JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Both teams to score & over 2.5 goals (5/4 with Sky Bet - Bet Here!)Newcastle vs Manchester United, Saturday 8pm - PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
As someone who puts lots of emphasis on the underlying numbers when making assessments of teams with the belief that expected goals data, used correctly, can still identify big value plays in the market despite it being widely used now, I simply must back Newcastle at Evens with Sky Bet here.
Manchester United are the form team in the Premier League with five wins in six games but there's evidence to prove that this resurgence is based on fragile foundations, according to the data.
A collapse in Premier League form is coming if performance levels remain the same.
As my colleague Adam Smith explains in this fantastic data piece analysing United's decline, their underlying numbers firmly present them as a mid-table ranked team in the Premier League. United lost the 'expected goals battle' in wins over Everton, Fulham and Sheffield United with an aggregate total scoreline reading 4.81-3.98 in favour of the three relegation contenders. Yet, somehow, the market has them priced up with a 27 per cent chance (14/5 with Sky Bet) of grabbing three points at Newcastle - a team that have just dismantled Chelsea and beaten Arsenal at St James' Park meaning it's now just three loses in their last 27 home matches. They've shipped just four goals at home this season, too.
More so, United have failed to win away from home against a top-nine ranked side under Ten Hag in 10 attempts, to an aggregate score of 34-9. To my figures and ratings, Newcastle should be rated closer to 4/7 with Sky Bet to win this match, yet we can get Evens. Christmas may have come early.SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1 | JONES KNOWS' BEST BET: Newcastle to win (Evens with Sky Bet - Bet Here!)Bournemouth vs Aston Villa, Sunday 2pm
Bournemouth are red hot under Andoni Iraola - and there is a huge amount of juice everywhere you look regarding their prospects in this encounter. It's easy to make a case for the 5/4 with Sky Bet on them scoring two or more goals and the 5/6 on offer for them to avoid defeat against a very skinny Aston Villa, who haven't convinced me at all on the road this season.
Iraola has found the key to his unique hybrid press system in that Ryan Christie is being utilised perfectly in the centre of the pitch which is setting the platform for everything else to click around him. Christie has made four tackles in both the impressive victories over Newcastle and Sheffield United and although my enthusiasm for a tackles bet is usually low, I'm happy to row in on Christie's lines which look too big to me based on this new role.
You can get 7/1 with Sky Bet on him repeating the feat and registering four or more tackles while those that like to play a little bit more reserved should also note the 5/6 for two or more and 5/2 for three or more. Christie can be at the forefront of another sprightly Cherries showing that should continue their surge up the table.SCORE PREDICTION: 2-1Chelsea vs Brighton, Sunday 2pm
It would be very '2023 Chelsea' if a depleted Brighton, despite selling the Londoners £200m worth of players and having their manager poached, could win at Stamford Bridge.
However, Roberto De Zerbi's team are far from their usual barnstorming selves such is their injury-list and intense Europa League encounters. The suspension of Lewis Dunk is a massive issue, too, as Brighton have failed to win the last five games without him, including the recent 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.
A quick scan of their key metrics over the past five games showcases a struggle compared to the usual electric figure posted by a De Zerbi team. In that period the non-penalty expected goals data reads Brighton 5.67 vs 6.70 to the opposition and the shot count also paints a negative figure of 46 shots vs 76 shots faced. The eye-test backed that up on Thursday as they were very fortunate to leave AEK Athens with maximum points considering the chances created by the Greek side. They don't look like a De Zerbi side at the moment.Ref Watch's Dermot Gallagher believes Lewis Dunk was deserving of the red card after his abusive language towards referee Anthony Taylor in the game against Nottingham Forest.
All this evidence makes this a very winnable fixture for Chelsea but the 8/11 with Sky Bet isn't a price I'm willing to play at considering the hot and cold nature of the Blues at home. I'd much rather back a bigger price for Chelsea to win by three or more goals at 5/1.
When Brighton get beat, it can escalate quickly into a thrashing as shown in heavy defeats to Everton and Aston Villa under De Zerbi. And in their last seven Premier League defeats, the aggregate score has been a whopping 25-7 in favour of the opposition.SCORE PREDICTION: 4-1 | JONES KNOWS' BEST BET: Chelsea -2 handicap (5/1 with Sky Bet - Bet Here!)Liverpool vs Fulham, Sunday 2pm
This might be a case of missing the wedding and attending the funeral but after raving about Trent Alexander-Arnold's goalscoring and shots prices for most of this season it would be rude not to bring to attention his prices this weekend with his confidence likely flowing after his first goal of the season at Manchester City.Image: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring
It's time Alexander-Arnold upped his strike-rate in front of goal. Since undergoing the tactical tweak to play him more centrally, the England man has only scored twice in 22 appearances - a disappointing return of a player with his undoubted quality playing in such an attack-minded side. However, that goal at the Etihad should spark his already spiking shot numbers - he's had 10 in his last five games. So, the 4/6 with Sky Bet for him to register two or more shots looks a very solid play and the 13/2 anytime price is also worth a look in what looks a routine home win for Jurgen Klopp's men.SCORE PREDICTION: 3-0West Ham vs Crystal Palace, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports - PLAY SUPER 6 HERE! Image: West Ham vs Crystal Palace, live on Sky Sports
West Ham have won five of their last six games, duly cantered into the knockout stages of the Europa League, have a Carabao Cup quarter-final to look forward to and are just eight points off top four. So, why am I not remotely interested in the Evens with Sky Bet for them to beat a very ordinary and ambitionless Crystal Palace, who are missing their main man in Eberechi Eze.
This just reeks of a slow burner.
Palace are notorious for allowing games to drift and play risk-free football in the first halves with 10 of their 13 games seeing them fail to score this season. It's resulted in eight of those 13 matches going in at the break 0-0 and the 15/8 with Sky Bet on offer here for such a scenario does look like an edge to exploit.SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1Manchester City vs Tottenham, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports - PLAY SUPER 6 HERE! Image: Man City vs Spurs, live on Sky Sports
Tottenham are heavily odds-on to lose a fourth straight Premier League match for the first time in 19 years. Surely the manager must go. Bring Jose back. Or Antonio. This would never happen on their watch. Who wants fun anyway.
Joshing aside, Spurs could be gobbled up here by a damaging scoreline but from a punting perspective I'm all for following them to contribute towards what's likely to be a very high goals total. Tottenham to score two or more at 11/4 with Sky Bet stands out.
As Chelsea showed in the 4-4 draw with City, if you can take the game into chaotic mode then City can be vulnerable through their midfield where Rodri is being overworked. Spurs thrive on chaos and they top the charts in the Premier League for shots from open play and fast breaks this season (164).
Dejan Kulusevski also remains overpriced to score at 13/2. He has scored in both of Spurs' last trips to the Etihad Stadium and is getting into some dangerous scoring positions of late, notching against Chelsea and hitting the post in the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.Image: Dejan Kulusevski celebrates after scoring a late winner for Spurs against Sheffield United
His positional play really caught my eye last Sunday as it seems Ange Postecoglou is negating the loss of creativity from James Maddison's injury by playing a front four with Kulusevski still playing off the right but with more instruction to play as a second striker. If this trend continues, then a player of his intelligence and skill is going to see a huge increase in his strike rate in front of goal - hopefully starting on Sunday.Image: Kulu SCORE PREDICTION: 4-2 | JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Dejan Kulusevski to score (13/2 with Sky Bet - Bet Here!)