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In June, we wrote how Liverpool had climbed the ranks as one of the all-time greatest squads according to ClubElo. Their start to the 2019-20 campaign, going 4-0-0 in the Premier League and winning the UEFA Super Cup, has only improved their case.
For those unfamiliar, “Elo estimates the strength of a club based on the results against opponents and their strength.” The site aims to look past point totals and trophies to zero in on how strong a team is compared to its peers in a given year. The all-time Elo rating measures the peak strength of a given year’s team.
It’s still only September, and Liverpool could certainly keep climbing. They have a manageable 2019 UEFA Champions League group drawing where they realistically may only drop one fixture (away – Napoli). Domestically, their most likely trouble spots to drop points in the coming two months are away at Chelsea (which immediately follows their Napoli match) and a November home fixture vs Manchester City. However, December is brutal. Liverpool will play a minimum of 8 matches with a thousands of miles of travel, including trips to Qatar (FIFA Club World Cup) and Austria (UCL tie vs Red Bull Salzburg).
Regardless of the brutal schedule, Liverpool could climb to fourth before the year is over, moving past that 1961 Real Madrid squad. Catching up to Pep Guardiola’s 2012 Barcelona or 2014 Bayern Munich seems unlikely. It would take an unprecedented domestic and European run to catch those two all-time great squads. If they somehow manage to navigate their remaining 2019 schedule with few if any losses, they’ll certainly have had one of the greatest year’s in soccer history.