Whilst Liverpool will be featuring in their first FIFA Club World Cup final since 2005 there will be something far more significant taking place 4000 miles away from Doho.
Premier League champions Manchester City will host title challengers Leicester city at the exact same time as the Reds’ clash with Flamengo on Saturday. With Liverpool unable to continue on their pursuit of the holy grail of a first league title in 30 years due to outside commitments they have been handed a crucial advantage.
Without kicking a ball on English soil, Liverpool return from Qatar on Sunday with one of their title rivals guaranteed to lose momentum in their chase of the European champions.
Jurgen Klopp’s runaway league leaders are currently 10 points clear at the league summit whilst their closest challengers Leicester are currently four points ahead of Pep Guardiola’s current holders.
It’s a win-win for Liverpool who were set to host West Ham United at Anfield this weekend but will instead face the Hammers on Monday, February 24th.
With one – if not both – of their title rivals dropping points at the Etihad on Saturday, Liverpool will know they hold a one-match advantage before they enter their mid-season break for the season.
Klopp’s team will be out of action from February 1 – 15. There will be no PL action on the weekend of February 8/9 with the Reds’ scheduled trip to Watford pushed back to the end of the month.
The European champions have only dropped two points since March and have only lost one of their previous 56 Premier League matches. With 49 points from a possible 51, it’s getting incredibly more difficult to predict where and how Liverpool are going to drop points.
The Reds’ return fixture back from the CWC will be a Boxing Day trip to the King Power Stadium against Leicester. If Liverpool are able to emerge from that encounter unscathed it could already see title proceedings wrapped up before the decade draws to a conclusion.