Richard Hercock: Put your shirt on Liverpool to win the Premier League title

Liverpool's Luis Suarez

Liverpool's Luis Suarez

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I was a student the last time Liverpool were crowned champions of England.

Considering I am in my 40s now, with a mortgage and family, it shows the once all-conquering Reds have gone a generation without domestic success.

But after Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Sunderland, Brendan Rodgers’s side are now just a point off leaders Chelsea and set to make a proper challenge for the Premier League trophy.

I have to confess, if I had to put my hat on one side to win the title this season then it would be Liverpool.

When I was at school, confessing you supported Liverpool was akin to being a Manchester United fan from Surrey. You were tagged a glory hunter.

That can hardly be levelled at the Anfield club these days, and while I am not a Liverpool fan, every time I have seen them this season I have been impressed.

Maybe it is the welcome presence of more than just the token one Englishman in the side, the rising managerial talent of Rodgers, or just the free-flowing football which has brought a sackful of goals.

Steve Gerrard has always been a tremendous servant to the club, but now he has two strikers in front of him who are powering the Reds forward.

Daniel Sturridge’s goal against Sunderland meant for the first time in 50 years, Liverpool’s strike partnership – alongside Luis Suarez – had scored 20 league goals each.

Not since Ian St John and Roger Hunt had that feat been achieved, which is amazing when you consider the strikers who have graced Anfield, like John Toshack, Kevin Keegan, Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler.

I thought Liverpool were crazy to reject Arsenal’s £40m offer for Suarez in the summer but he has concentrated on his game, kept out of trouble, and proved there are few better strikers in world football in 2014.

It would have been so easy for the Reds to wash their hands of the Uruguayan but Rodgers’s perseverance has been rewarded with Liverpool currently on the cusp of a seven-match winning streak.

While Chelsea may be top, followed closely by Liverpool, Manchester City are the current favourites to take over Manchester United’s mantle as English champions.

Manuel Pellegrini’s team are just three points off the Blues, but have two games in hand.

They face a tricky trip to Arsenal today, who will want to bounce back after two poor results, including a horrendous 6-0 thrashing by Chelsea.

Arsene Wenger’s side have to win today in the 5.30pm kick-off if they are to hold out any hope of getting back in the Premier League title race.

But if City do slip up, then Liverpool’s key home fixtures will surely prove decisive.

They welcome sixth-placed Tottenham to Merseyside tomorrow but two games next month stand out.

They host City on April 13 and Chelsea on April 27. If they win those two games, the title could be heading towards the red half of Merseyside.

I am just preparing myself for a new craze of Liverpool shirts appearing in the school playgrounds across Yorkshire.

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