Liverpool: The eight-day period that could make or BREAK their season

Liverpool’s crunch clash with Man City kicks off a make-or-break week ahead of facing Chelsea and Arsenal… key attackers are back from injury but they’re still beset by issues in defence and midfield – Klopp must pull out the stops to save their season

  • Liverpool face a make-or-break week where they play City, Chelsea and Arsenal
  • Jurgen Klopp has issues in midfield and defence as he looks to save their season
  • And with just the Premier League to focus on, there is hope it can be salvaged 

The Premier League is finally back on our TV screens following the conclusion of the international break – however, some Liverpool fans may have been dreading the return of domestic football.

That is because Jurgen Klopp’s men are faced with a decisive eight-day period that could make or break the season, kicking off with a crunch clash against Manchester City at the Etihad this Saturday.

The lunchtime kick-off against Pep Guardiola’s men is just the first in a trilogy of difficult games which will see them travel down to London to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge three days later, before welcoming league leaders Arsenal to Anfield the following Sunday.

Liverpool would’ve fancied themselves to win at least two of these games and drawn the other in recent campaigns. But when you take into consideration how wildly inconsistent they’ve been, they may be lucky to have picked up three points come a week on Sunday.

While City haven’t been their usual dominant best this season, they’ve shown they can still blow away teams as they continue to chase down Mikel Arteta’s high-flying Gunners.

Liverpool face Manchester City in the lunchtime kick-off at the Etihad on Saturday

The next three games could be make-or-break for Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side

Now out of the Champions League, Liverpool can solely focus on Premier League matters

Keeping Erling Haaland quiet will be the main task at the Etihad, with the Norwegian powerhouse hunting down Alan Shearer and Andy Cole’s Premier League record of 34 goals in a season. He’s currently six off equaling the total after just 26 games.

Arguably the most favourable game of the three, Liverpool should fancy their chances against Chelsea three days later, given Graham Potter’s side are yet to put a solid run of form together in the league.

Even with the game at Stamford Bridge, this is where many would expect to pick up points with Chelsea clearly a side in transition.

Then onto Arsenal at Anfield. The Gunners are on course to finally win their fourth Premier League trophy – 19 years since their last triumph – and continue to churn out win after win no matter who the opponent is.

Arteta’s men also have a brilliant record against their fellow ‘Big Six’ rivals this season, winning five of their seven encounters and losing twice – with both defeats coming against the Manchester clubs.

However, Liverpool surprisingly have a fairly decent record against their Big Six rivals too, so there is hope. Out of the six times they’ve the traditional big six this season, Liverpool have won three and drawn once.

But days after their crunch clash at the Etihad, Liverpool make the trip south to face Chelsea

Then the following Sunday, Liverpool welcome high-flying Arsenal to Anfield on April 9

Where the problem lies with Liverpool is how wildly inconsistent they’ve been.

One week they can completely tear apart their high-flying arch-rivals Manchester United 7-0 before succumbing to defeat against Bournemouth six days later.

They even managed a thumping 7-1 win over Rangers in the Champions League in October before following it with a 1-0 wins over Man City and West Ham in the league, before losing to Nottingham Forest and Leeds before the month was up.

Klopp has been wrestling with his side’s form all season which now leaves them seven points adrift of fourth-place Tottenham, who have played two games more.

But those games in hand could count for nothing given this make-or-break period they face.

So what are the issues Klopp needs to solve to save Liverpool’s season and secure a top-four finish?

While Mohamed Salah hasn’t been his usual brilliant self this season, Liverpool have still managed to score 47 goals this season – only City, Arsenal and Spurs have scored more.

The return of Luis Diaz from injury will come as a huge boost to Klopp, who will now be able to rotate and keep his five forwards fresh until the end of the season.

Colombian forward Luis Diaz is set to return from his long injury lay-off in a boost for Klopp

However, Virgil Van Dijk and Co have struggled at the back for consistency this campaign

Klopp also has issues in midfield, with Fabinho (centre left) and Henderson (left) off the pace

Another silver lining is that Klopp will only have to focus on the Premier League until the end of the season following their Champions League exit before the international break. 


Leeds (A) – April 17, 8pm

Nottingham Forest (H) – April 22, 3pm

West Ham (A) – April 26, 7:45pm

Tottenham (H) – April 30, 4:30pm

Fulham (H) – May 3, 8pm

Brentford (H) – May 6, 5:30pm

Leicester (A) – May 13, 3pm

Aston Villa (H) – May 20, 3pm

Southampton (A) – May 28, 4:30pm 

While it does mean it’s a season without silverware, there will be no distractions going into the final stretch of the season, allowing the Reds plenty of rest in between games unlike many of their rivals further up the table.

However, that is where much of the positives end.

It is true that Klopp will be to go with a full strength front-line going forward, but his midfield continues to cause him problems. 

The loss of Spanish starlet Stefan Bajcetic to injury earlier this month came as a huge blow, while Thiago Alcantara continues to struggle with injuries in what has been a frustrating campaign for the 31-year-old.

While youngsters Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho have done well to fill the gaps, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have struggled for form.

The same can be said for a number of Klopp’s defenders, with Virgil Van Dijk slated for his performances for the Netherlands in the international break while Trent Alexander-Arnold – who wasn’t called up by Gareth Southgate – continues to divide opinion.

With 12 games left to save Liverpool’s season, Klopp has plenty of time to make ground on the top four and secure Champions League football once again next season.

But with their clashes against City, Chelsea and Arsenal fast approaching, we may know sooner rather than later whether that final charge for European football is over before it could even get off the ground.

Source: Read Full Article