Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to battle Manchester United on Sunday, and the outcome of that game could have a huge say on the English Premier League title race.
The Reds are tied on points with Manchester City, and a victory at the expense of the Red Devils will see them go three points clear.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher reckons the next few days could be the defining week for the title race, with a visit from Watford during the week next prior to the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park next Sunday.
The ex-England international grew up supporting Everton, and he remembers how the Toffees’ 1985 title triumph was determined by a game against Tottenham Hotspur in April.
“As a youngster, I always recall the 1985 season when Everton ended a 15-year wait to win the league title, fending off the challenge of Tottenham Hotspur. I was seven years old and preoccupied with the fixtures and results of Spurs in the way Liverpool supporters have obsessed about what Manchester City are doing this year (and vice-versa),” Carragher wrote in the Telegraph.
“I would run out of the Gwladys Street at full-time on Saturday afternoon, straight into a betting shop outside the ground and demand to know, ‘how did Spurs get on?’ The game that changed everything was a 2-1 away win at White Hart Lane in April. After that, I was sure Howard Kendall’s side would stay top. Whenever I think about that season, that is the fixture that stands out.”
Winning against United and Watford will definitely boost Liverpool’s title chances, but they will have to prove their credentials again by getting a win against Everton or least leaving with a point.
After securing a narrow 1-0 win during the reverse fixture at Anfield last December, another tough test awaits at Goodison Park, and as a timely reminder, Carragher has sounded a note of warning to his former side.
He said: “As a Liverpool player, there are two away games you look at first when the fixture list is printed – United and Everton away. Traditionally, they are the toughest and most intense.”
Liverpool’s next three games will likely determine their fate, and it will be interesting to see if Everton can deal a huge blow on their title chances or not.