Have Liverpool already got the Premier League title in the bag?
By Joe Harker
The Premier League is just over a third of the way through and Liverpool are enjoying an eight point lead at the top.
It's not the first time a club has been well out in front and failed to win the league come the end of the season but a belief is growing that Jurgen Klopp's side are finally going to do it.
Winning the Premier League is easier said than done, so are predictions of Liverpool lifting the trophy come the end of the season a little premature?
Tony Evans of The Independent dubbed Liverpool "the inevitables", in tribute to Arsenal's "invincibles" who won the title without losing a single game.
He believes Liverpool are so good and so far ahead of their rivals that they practically have the title race sewn up before the halfway point.
Every time Liverpool look like they might drop points something happens which puts them back on track, as though fate itself was on their side.
First loss of the season looking likely against Manchester United? Forgotten man Adam Lallana comes on to get an equalizer. Wobbling against Palace? Not to worry, they'll come through in the end. Being given a run for their money? That VAR decision they needed falls in their favour.
How many hairy moments must Liverpool navigate successfully before more begin to believe they've got an aura about them which has carried other teams to the league title? It's some unquantifiable thing, a feeling that boosts the players and sees things fall favourably for them.
If a team has that aura on their side they really are the inevitables.
The Counter Claim:
Auras can be broken, all it takes is one bad moment or shock defeat for things to fall apart quickly.
You never know what will happen in the next game, Liverpool could suffer a bad injury or have one of those days where nothing goes right for them.
There's also the other teams in the title race to consider. It's a four horse race where one horse is well out in front, but there's a lot of games yet to go and a big gap in points can be closed.
Manchester City aren't the closest team to Liverpool in the title race right now but they are the defending champions, coming off the back of two consecutive victorious seasons, and are seen as the closest competitive rival for Liverpool.
City manager Pep Guardiola doesn't like being nine points off the top of the league but he has promised not to give up until the end of the season.
A title race in the bag? Nothing is over until it's mathematically impossible.
Liverpool are eight points clear of 2015/16 season champions Leicester City, now managed by the very same Brendan Rodgers who almost won the Premier League back in the 2013/14 season.
One point and place below them is Guardiola's Man City side, who have won the league in the last two seasons and hit the 100 point mark in 2017/18.
Two points and a place below City is Frank Lampard's Chelsea side, the team who won the league in between Leicester and City's Premier League triumphs. They are scintillating in attack but still quite shaky and inexperienced when things go a bit wrong.