Not only are Liverpool FC well on their way to their first English Premier League championship — and first top-flight title since 1990 — the Reds have not suffered a defeat in a league match in nearly a full year. And they can make it a year if they can hold to win or draw against a surprising Sheffield United side that has lost only once on the road in their first season since earning promotion after 12 years in the lower leagues. The Blades have taken points from Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United this season, according to This Is Anfield.
Sheffield’s only road loss came on Sunday against defending, back-to-back titlists Manchester City. Now, just four days later, they must travel again to Anfield to face the team that leads the Premier League with 55 points — 10 better than 2016 champions Leicester City in the second position.
Liverpool have not lost a league match at home or on the road since January 3, 2019, meaning that avoiding defeat on January 2, gives the 18-time English champions an entire rotation around the sun without experiencing defeat in the leading domestic competition.
To make matters even more daunting for the visitors, Liverpool are also riding a 50-match unbeaten streak at Anfield — with 40 wins in that span, according to the BBC. The Reds have taken the full three points in 17 games straight on their iconic home ground.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp previews the Thursday match, in the video below.
Given Liverpool’s dominant year, and their particular dominance at home, it will perhaps be unsurprising that the Reds enter the day-after-New Year’s Day contest as heavy favorites, with one-fourth odds in favor of their victory, according to Sporting Life.
Sheffield United, on the other hand, are listed as prohibitive 11/1 underdogs, while the odds of a draw are set at 9/2, according Sporting Life.
But Liverpool appeared to show tired legs in a hard-fought, 1-0 win over Wolves on Sunday — just three days after they stomped Leicester on the road, 4-0. And it was less than two weeks ago that the Reds completed their first Club World Cup championship, with an extra-time, 1-0 win over Brazilian and South American champs Clube de Regatas do Flamengo — in Doha, Qatar.
Klopp said on Wednesday that injuries to his team have left him with only 13 players available for selection in the Sheffield United contest.
Back on September 19, Liverpool took a 1-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and lost to the Blades only once in the last 13 games between the sides at Anfield — with Liverpool winning 11 of those matchups.
The Liverpool FC vs. Sheffield United match kicks off at 8 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time at Anfield on Thursday. In the United States, that start time will be 3 p.m. EST, noon PST. NBC Sports Net will televise the match live in the U.S.