Liverpool play every game possible – but fewer than top five busiest Prem teams

Ian Watson
Middlesbrough, Chelsea and Man Utd all played more games than Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool might be playing every game they possibly could this season, but there are five Premier League teams who were flogged even harder.


On Sunday, Liverpool will play the 62nd of 63 games this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side having taken part in every match possible. The breakdown:

Premier League: 38
Champions League: 13
FA Cup: 6
Carabao Cup: 6

It’s the second time in Liverpool’s history that they have played in every game possible, with Gerard Houllier’s men in 2000/01 doing the same. It’s isn’t their busiest season, however. In 1983/84, the Reds played 67 games and won three trophies: the league title, the League Cup and European Cup. They were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round.

In the Premier League, though, Liverpool’s exploits this season make them only the sixth-busiest team for total number of games played. Here are the top five…

Manchester United – 64 in 2016/17

Premier League
: P38 W18 D15 L5 (6th)
Europa League: P15 W10 D3 L2 (Winners)
FA Cup: P4 W3 D0 L1 (Quarter-finals)
League Cup: P6 W5 D0 L1 (Winners)
Community Shield: P1 W1 D0 L0 (Winners)

The most-used player: Marcus Rashford (53 games) or Paul Pogba (4,350 minutes)

It’s little wonder Jose Mourinho gave it the big one with the three fingers and all that. His first season in charge of Manchester United was a ruddy long one, starting with a Community Shield victory over Leicester on August 7 and culminating in Europa glory over Ajax on May 24. They played 64 games across those 291 days, at an average of one match every 4.5 days. Only a 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Stamford Bridge prevented them from going any further.


A whole XI of former Premier League players who could return for free this summer


Chelsea – 64 in 2006/07

Premier League: P38 W24 D11 L3 (2nd)
Champions League: P12 W7 D3 L2 (Semi-finals)
FA Cup: P7 W6 D1 L0 (Winners)
League Cup: P6 W5 D1 L0 (Winners)
Community Shield: P1 W0 D0 L1 (Runner-up)

The most-used player: Frank Lampard (62 games and 5,358 minutes)

And there he is again. Mourinho dragged Chelsea to within a couple of games of that so-far-elusive Quadruple. They lost the fewest games and conceded the fewest goals of any Premier League side, yet finished six points behind Manchester United. Daniel Agger helped edge them out of the Champions League by another narrow Anfield margin.


Middlesbrough – 64 in 2005/06

Premier League: P38 W12 D9 L17 (14th)
UEFA Cup: P15 W8 D2 L5 (Runner-up)
FA Cup: P8 W4 D3 L1 (Semi-finals)
League Cup: P3 W2 D0 L1 (Quarter-finals)

The most-used player: Yakubu Aiyegbeni (55 games) or Mark Schwarzer (4,182 minutes); George Boateng (3,902) led outfielders

By virtue of a ridiculously convoluted European campaign and an FA Cup run that featured three replayed ties, Steve McClaren’s side were pushed to the absolute limit all those years ago. April and M\ay included 14 fixtures alone, with the youngest starting XI in Premier League history an enduring highlight.


Manchester United – 66 in 2008/09

Premier League: P38 W28 D6 L4 (Winners)
Champions League: P13 W6 D6 L1 (Runner-up)
FA Cup: P5 W4 D0 L1 (Semi-finals)
League Cup: P6 W5 D0 L1 (Winners)
Club World Cup: P2 W2 D0 L0 (Winners)
Super Cup: P1 W0 D0 L1 (Runner-up)
Community Shield: P1 W1 D0 L0 (Winners)

The most-used player: Nemanja Vidic (55 games and 4,740 minutes)

Manchester United won the Premier League title, League Cup and Community Shield 13 years ago, reaching at least the semi-finals in every other tournament they entered. Everton beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in a Wembley penalty shootout at the penultimate FA Cup hurdle, with a lack of replays also helping cost them a place in history.


Chelsea – 69 in 2012/13

Premier League: P38 W22 D9 L7 (3rd)
Champions and Europa League: P15 W9 D2 L4 (Winners of EL)
FA Cup: P7 W3 D2 L2 (Semi-finals)
League Cup: P5 W3 D2 L0 (Semi-finals)
Club World Cup: P2 W1 D0 L1 (Runner-up)
Super Cup: P1 W0 D0 L1 (Runner-up)
Community Shield: P1 W0 D0 L1 (Runner-up)

The most-used player: Fernando Torres, Oscar or Juan Mata (all 64 games) or Petr Cech (5,655 minutes); Branislav Ivanovic (4,991) led outfielders

Nice. The key for Chelsea was Europe. Their Champions League trophy defence ended at the group stage as they finished third. Dropping down into the Europa League at the round of 32 and enjoying two-legged ties all the way up to the final was their punishment. Then reaching the semi-finals in both domestic cup competitions almost dragged their final game total to 70. Manchester City beat them in the FA Cup to deny them a showpiece against Wigan; Swansea and their ball boys were victorious in the League Cup ahead of the Swans’ morbidly curious meeting with Bradford. Chelsea would quite justifiably claim to have won either final. They might have collectively collapsed from exhaustion on the way, mind.