Micah Richards pinpoints Liverpool flaw that could cost them the title

Sports pundit Micah Richards believes Liverpool have a flaw in them that could well cost them the Premier League title. They’re firmly in the race, though.

Richards discussed the title race on the Rest is Football podcast this week. He made it pretty clear who he sees as the two teams fighting it out, too – Liverpool and Manchester City.

But the former City defender believes there’s a flaw in the Liverpool team that could ultimately cost them this season’s title. The Reds just aren’t solid enough.

“I would never rule Liverpool out, I think I said a couple of weeks ago, I think they’re the ones to challenge Man City for the league,” said Richards.

“But, I just think they’re still giving up a lot of opportunities.

“If you look at the game against Arsenal, they should have scored at least two in that first half, if you’re being honest.

“I think the difference between Arsenal and Man City, is Man City will punish you.”

There is absolutely no question that Liverpool gave up too many chances against Arsenal and were very fortunate not to concede several goals, let alone keep a clean sheet. The Gunners blew several brilliant opportunities, both sides of halftime.

But they were also lacking Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Wataru Endo. They also didn’t have Dominik Szoboszlai or Mohamed Salah available – two players who make it a lot easier to keep the ball.

All in all, no one should judge Liverpool too much from that game. Instead, there are 20 games of Premier League data from which you can get an idea of just how easily the Reds give up chances.

And to be fair to Richards, the Reds have a higher expected goals against total (22) than either City (17) or Arsenal (16) this season.

That does suggest they give up decent chances more than their rivals. But it’s still the third-best in the league and Liverpool have actually conceded the fewest goals in the competition this season.

On top of that, their goals-for column is sitting at 43 from an xG of 44. The former number is second-highest in the league behind City’s 45, while the latter is by far the best in the league. No other team has a total xG of at least 40, in fact.

Statistically, then, Liverpool are clearly a massive threat for the title and certainly not a team with a major flaw. The Arsenal win in the FA Cup was simply not a game from which you can judge them.



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