Liverpool: 5 Reasons Why Reds Can Win the Premier League This Season
For Liverpool and their fans, the last 23 years haven't been particularly enjoyable.
Their record of 18 Football League First Division titles and mantle as England's most successful club team has been surpassed and taken by archrivals Manchester United over the past quarter of a century.
The Reds have had to watch on while Sir Alex Ferguson and his Red Devils swept up almost every trophy put before them while having to settle for the FA Cup and League Cup themselves—their only two pieces of silverware in five years.
The decline of the Merseyside club has been stark in recent times and put into brutal clarity at the end of the 2011/12 Premier League season, which Liverpool finished in eighth place.
However, brighter times could lay ahead with the Anfield club currently top of the league and unbeaten, with midfielder Victor Moses claiming his side could at last win the title again this season (Daily Mail).
And the Nigerian loan star could have a point—maybe Liverpool can win the championship for the first time since 1990.
Here, we look at five reasons why.
Shrewd Business in the Transfer Window
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Liverpool enjoyed a far more successful transfer window this summer than the one 12 months ago.
This time last year, many an eyebrow was raised as the Reds allowed the likes of Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt to leave, but failed to bring in any adequate replacements up front.
This led to Luis Suarez carrying much of the goalscoring burden until Daniel Sturridge's arrival in January.
However, this summer has been a different story with manager Brendan Rodgers getting the bulk of his spending done early, welcoming in the likes of Kolo Toure, Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Simon Mignolet.
The latter has been outstanding in goal this season and has replaced Pepe Reina with consummate ease. Meanwhile, Kolo Toure looks a completely different player to the one found warming the bench at the Etihad last term.
Rodgers has been shrewd with his spending. There may have been an absence of a "marquee signing" while "only" £47 million was spent on new recruits—a drop in the ocean compared to the profligacy enjoyed at Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham.
But what Liverpool do have now is the strength in depth they lacked last season and that could be crucial.
No European Distractions
Liverpool's decline in recent years has led to an absence from the Champions League since the 2009/10 season—a campaign that saw them finish third in Group E and demoted to the Europa League.
Their seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season means they won't even be contesting the latter competition this term, which could be a blessing in disguise rather than a damning indictment.
While rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and City contest the Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and Tottenham compete in the Europa League on Thursdays, Liverpool will be resting.
With United returning from a long flight from Ukraine, Chelsea jetting back from Romania and City returning from Russia, Liverpool will have fresh legs come the weekend Premier League fixtures.
And that could have a bearing on this season's title race.
Proven Pedigree Against Top Teams
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Liverpool's detractors point out that their position at the top of the table in the early stages of the Premier League is owed to the fact they have played "lesser teams" so far.
True enough, the Reds three victories and a draw have come against the likes of Stoke, Aston Villa and Swansea—but they have claimed the scalp of champions Manchester United this season.
The 1-0 win at Anfield was a huge victory for the Reds and one that really made a statement of intent.
United won the title last season by a landslide but were made to look rather ordinary against Liverpool, and if Brendan Rodgers' side can replicate such results against the likes of City, Arsenal and Chelsea, there's really no reason to doubt why they can't be fighting for the title this season.
The Form of Daniel Sturridge
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The linchpin to Liverpool's success this season has been Daniel Sturridge.
There were concerns as to where the goals were going to come from for the Reds in the first two months of the Premier League season with top scorer Luis Suarez suspended until the end of September.
However, Sturridge has stepped up to the mark and picked up the goalscoring slack dropped by his Uruguayan colleague, netting in every league game this season.
The England international has bagged himself 14 goals in 19 appearances since joining the Reds in January, including four in five league games this term.
And if Sturridge can keep up that form, he could well fire Liverpool to the top of the table come next May.
Luis Suarez Has Yet to Play
With Daniel Sturridge banging the goals in, Liverpool also have a certain Luis Suarez to welcome back into the side.
The Uruguayan has not played for the Reds since being hammered with a 10-match-ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last season.
He has served nine games of that suspension and is in line for a return to action next week, which will clearly give the Merseysiders a huge boost.
Suarez was the club's top scorer last season and the second highest in the Premier League with 23 strikes in 33 domestic outings.
He finished only behind Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie in the scoring charts and may have surpassed the Dutchman had it not been for his crazed attack on Ivanovic.
The thought of Suarez and man-in-form Sturridge leading the line for Liverpool from next week is a tantalising prospect and one that will give Premier League defences sleepless nights.
It's also a strike partnership that could help end 23 years of hurt for the Reds.