Next six games after Arsenal draw
Liverpool’s season has been a vicious downward spiral from the heights of last year’s quadruple hunt.
Jurgen Klopp vividly described the sensation: “You get in this whirlwind and it sucks you in that direction and all of a sudden it’s like ‘Wow, where are we?’” The Reds reduced the revolutions of their spin with a comeback draw at home to league-leading Arsenal on Sunday afternoon but there was chaos laced throughout an enthralling contest.
With just nine games of the campaign left to play, here’s what lies in store for Klopp and his tornado team.
More than half the division has a better away record than Liverpool this season. Leeds are not one of them. The Yorkshire outfit rely heavily upon their form at Elland Road but are hardly untouchable at home – particularly against Liverpool.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last seven trips to Elland Road (W5 D2), last losing at the famous venue when Mark Viduka scored four times in a bonkers seven-goal thriller at the turn of the century. Only one Leeds player has scored more than four league goals across the entire season this term.
Across half a decade in Liverpool’s academy at various age levels, Steve Cooper coached the likes of Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold, taking the under-18s to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals.
Chelsea ultimately got the better of Cooper’s youngsters but Nottingham Forest prevailed in the 2013 showpiece. Ten years on, Cooper will return to Merseyside in charge of the senior Tricky Trees, with the aim of completing a league double over Liverpool after earning a famous 1-0 win at the City Ground in October.
When confronted with the double-sacking of Graham Potter and Brendan Rodgers from Chelsea and Leicester respectively, Klopp joked: “I think the elephant in the room is why I am still sitting here in this crazy world, last man standing.”
David Moyes is hanging in right alongside the misfiring German boss. A desperately needed uptick in form from West Ham – three wins from their previous six games – may well ensure that Moyes remains in place when Liverpool travel to the capital on Wednesday 26 April.
Liverpool and Tottenham were duking out a Champions League final four years ago, now they are desperately scrapping to even qualify for the competition.
Tottenham’s pursuit of the top four has the Londoners lying fifth with eight games to go but was deemed so disastrous that Antonio Conte was ushered out of the door – although, that won’t have taken much persuasion. There is little suggestion that Klopp will join the long list of managerial casualties this season but Liverpool are considerably further back in the race for fourth.
Back in the hazy days of summer 2022, Liverpool opened the campaign with a sun-soaked lunchtime trip to Fulham. The Reds twice fell behind in a groggy performance which has proven to be far more representative of their season than the razor-sharp curtain-raiser against Manchester City in the Community Shield the week before.
Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic will not be able to terrorise Liverpool’s backline as he did in August – scoring twice – while he serves a suspension but the Reds can scarcely be looking forward to another meeting with the Cottagers.
Aside from a historic thrashing of Manchester United, it has not been a year to cherish for Liverpool. Brentford ensured that 2023 started in the worst possible way with a brutally dominant 3-1 mauling of Liverpool.
Every Brentford dead-ball scenario is always one to watch but make sure to keep a close eye on this fixture’s set pieces. After getting ruthlessly bullied from every avenue in January, Klopp snidely claimed that Brentford “stretch the rules” and in “every situation you would find five fouls”. Thomas Frank quashed any such talk, claiming: “It’s never been more difficult to score a goal.” There could be some fireworks in both boxes for this one.
Southampton’s Operations and Sustainability Manager Caroline Carlin and LWFC supporters club founder Jo Goodall join Shebahn Aherne to have football’s climate conversation about what football clubs are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. Pledgeball’s Heather Ashworth also gives an update on the Pledgeball League table.
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