Jurgen Klopp has only started Liverpool's best XI once during Premier League run at Anfield


Liverpool strengthened their grip on the Premier League title race with victory on Sunday night.

Such are the bizarre circumstances of the 2020/21 season that few clubs have been able to establish themselves as standout performers in the first few months of England's top flight.

However, there can no longer be any denying that the Reds are favourites when it comes to claiming the 2020/21 crown after their convincing victory over Leicester City on Merseyside.

Liverpool 3-0 Leicester

The Foxes had occupied second place going into the clash at Anfield and were unbeaten away from home, securing impressive wins at Manchester City, Leeds United and Arsenal.

But they hardly got a kick against Jurgen Klopp's men who romped their way to a 3-0 win courtesy of strikes from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino as well as an own goal by Jonny Evans.

Truth be told, it launched a sledgehammer through claims Leicester could recreate their 2015/16 magic with an ambitious handball claim against Joel Matip proving their biggest threat all game.


Liverpool's club record

Victory meant that Liverpool moved to joint-top in the Premier League standings, just one place behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur due to 7-2-defeat-at-Aston-Villa-induced goal difference.

But regardless of the result's context within the current season, it also marked a piece of club history as Liverpool went a 64th consecutive league game without defeat at Anfield.

It's a truly remarkable feat, famously dating back to April 2017 when they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Sam Allardyce's Crystal Palace of all teams and one the Reds will be hoping to extend.


Liverpool's 'best XI'

And they can feel pretty optimistic about doing exactly that because Liverpool, astonishingly, have only actually started with their strongest XI ONCE during their invincible 64 wins and draws.

Credit to Mari Lewis writing in Liverpool Offside for highlighting this point and we've trawled through Liverpool's home league line-ups to highlight the one time it actually transpired.

Now, sure, Liverpool's best XI is ultimately subjective, but I think we can all agree on the back five and front three: Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Mohamed Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane. 


As for the midfield three, albeit debatable, we're thinking the majority of Kopites would agree with the trio of Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson.

Ok, yes, Thiago Alcantara and Jota might have something to say about that, but considering we're talking about a three-year span here, we're putting players who have just signed aside for now.

Only played together ONCE

So, when has that XI actually started together? Well, despite having been possible any time since the summer of 2018 due to the arrival of Fabinho, the only occurrence transpired this July.

That's because Klopp was finally able to deploy the 'best XI' for the 4-0 thrashing of Palace, which seems apt considering when the run started, to tee up Premier League title glory the next day.


Just 1.5% of league home games

A comfortable 4-0 victory is also a pretty good endorsement of what Liverpool can achieve when they do have their best resources available and it's still pretty rare at any point during games.

That's because it was highlighted in February that Liverpool's XI hadn't played a single minute together until that point during the entire 2019/20 campaign despite their imperious form.

To say that Liverpool have only fielded their best XI in 1.5% of home games is certainly a shock considering their dominance in the Premier League since the start of 2018/19 particularly.


Take a bow, Jurgen

Not having your finest team available is a handicap for any team, arguably robbing them of their optimal chance of victory, so it makes Liverpool's success all the more incredible.

Besides, Liverpool's achievements would be commendable at the best of times, never mind when injuries, circumstances and rotation has often left Klopp shy of his ideal line-up.

So, say what you like about Klopp and his tactics, but the fact he's been able to achieve what he's been able to achieve at Liverpool despite seldom having his best XI is simply mind-boggling.

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