When can Liverpool win Premier League title?

Jurgen Klopp celebrates after Liverpool's win against Manchester United
Liverpool's loss to Watford means they may have to wait until April to wrap up a first Premier League title

Liverpool still require a maximum of 12 points to win the Premier League title following their 3-0 defeat by relegation-threatened Watford on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp's side are 22 points clear of their nearest challengers Manchester City, who have played one game less.

But despite a first league defeat of the season, a first top-flight title since 1990 is still tantalisingly within their grasp.

And while Liverpool's 44-game unbeaten league run was brought to an abrupt end, the prospect of sealing the title at the home of reigning champions Manchester City is now a very real one.

BBC Sport has crunched the numbers to work out when and where Liverpool could become champions again.

When is the earliest Liverpool can win the league?

The only guarantee the Reds have is that just four wins from their remaining 10 games will be enough to be crowned champions, regardless of what their rivals do.

Liverpool's fourth game from this point of the season is against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on 5 April.

What needs to happen for Liverpool to win the title at Goodison Park or the Etihad?

Everton's Jordan Pickford saves from Mohamed Salah during a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in March 2019
Jordan Pickford made a crucial save to deny Mohamed Salah during last season's goalless Merseyside derby at Goodison Park

To put it simply, if Liverpool and Manchester City keep winning from this point on then Klopp's side will have their first shot at securing the title at Etihad Stadium.

But defeat against Watford means that Liverpool would require City to lose their next two of their next three games against Manchester United on 8 March, Arsenal on 11 March and Burnley on 14 March to lift the trophy when they face local rivals Everton at Goodison Park on 16 March.

Victories over Bournemouth and Everton, accompanied by two defeats in three for City, would see Liverpool open up a 25-point gap - with just 24 points still available to City who would have eight games to play.

That now unlikely scenario would be extra sweet for Reds fans given a goalless draw at Goodison Park last year was one of the matches that proved critical in their failure to snatch the title from Manchester City.

The stalemate in early March was the last time Liverpool dropped points that season, with nine successive wins still not enough to overhaul Guardiola's men, who claimed the title by a single point on the final day of the season.

What's the earliest a team has won the Premier League?

Manchester United celebrating with the Premier League trophy in 2001
Manchester United's 2001 triumph was the second of three successive Premier League title victories

Manchester United hold the record for the earliest Premier League title win, with Sir Alex Ferguson's men claiming victory in 2000-01 on 14 April.

The earliest Premier League title win by games remaining, rather than by date, is five - a record also set by United in 2000-01, as well as Manchester City in 2017-18.

What is the biggest lead a team has had WITHOUT going on to win the title?

Kevin Keegan with his head in his hands while managing Newcastle in 1996
Kevin Keegan - the most high profile victim of Sir Alex Ferguson's 'mind games'?

"I'd love it if we beat them, love it."

Who can forget Kevin Keegan's famous on-screen rant as his Newcastle side saw their lead slowly chipped away by Manchester United during the second half of the 1995-96 season?

Keegan's swashbuckling Magpies team led the table by 12 points at the start of 1996, but finished the campaign four points behind Manchester United in second. That remains the biggest lead a side has had in the Premier League without going on to win the title.

Now that is a record Liverpool do NOT want to break.