Hello fellow Reds! Today we are going to talk about the next seven matches that should show us where we are at in terms of depth, and which young players are ready to grab the brass rings. Liverpool have seven matches in twenty-three days. The off-season signings and the next wave of youth should be given the opportunity to show their value. Alisson and Keita have already featured prominently in this campaign. Shaqiri getting a run-out today is a good sign that he maybe ready for a bigger role: be it as a super sub, or a cup tie specialist. The biggest question so far is why hasn’t Fabinho even made the bench? I haven’t seen or heard anything relating to injury, so it must be that Klopp feels like he might need more time getting up to speed. This would be more of a pressing issue if the same thing didn’t happen with Robbo last year, who is now one of the top Left Backs in the league. Once again, in Klopp we trust.
How it Starts
Looking ahead at the upcoming matches, the Reds have four EPL matches(Spurs, Southhampton, Chelsea, and Man City), two Champion League matches(PSG and Napoli), and one Whateverthehellitscallednow Cup match(Chelsea). Clearly, in terms of team selection, Spurs and PSG take precedence to start this run. Of course it doesn’t help matters that ‘Pool are losing fifteen players to their home countries during this International Break. Adam Lallana, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, and Trent Alexander-Arnold are going with the Three Lions. Dominick Solanke is going with the Three Cubs(England U21s). Big Virgil and Gini are going Dutch. Alisson, Bobby, and Fabinho are making their way back to Brazil, which is also the longest trip, being that they are coming to the U.S.. Robbo is going with the Scottish team. Naby Keita is captaining the Guinea squad. Shaqiri, or as I call him, “The Swiss Popeye”, is back with Switzerland. Mane Mane is leading the Senegalese. The biggest story of this break though is what will Mo do? Jurgen thinks that he will go back to feature for his native Egypt, but with the riff between Mo and the Egyptian FA who knows. Personally, it wouldn’t break my heart if Mo skips this one.
With so much talent going out, it’s not like the squad will come back rested from Holiday. I guess that is the trade off though for having world class talent on the team. I can’t ever remember dreading Fabio Borini getting injured while being called up. Which brings us to our next point. Out of the fifteen players Liverpool are losing, ten or all eleven(depending on the team sheet that day) are starters. It is imperative for everyone to come back healthy to maintain the depth of the squad.
Our first top six match of the year. Assuming everyone comes back healthy, I say we go with the eleven that got us four wins in four matches. Not much changes in the squad. Spurs open their new toilet bowl, ahem stadium in this match. The atmosphere should be electric. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I think we come out of this one with a point, if not all three! Jurgen has put together a team that can manage a game and possession and I really think we see that on display in this one.
The quest for six starts under the lights at Anfield! The whole city should be on fire in the buildup to this one. It would be an emphatic and important start to the group stage if we can come away with three points. I think PSG gets called out. The competition PSG face on a regular basis will not have them ready. I expect a huge night from the front three and especially the Egyptian King. I think the physicality from the midfield and back four will frustrate PSG’s stars, especially Neymar who may end up flopping and rolling all the way down Anfield Road and into the River Mersey! L.F.C. take three points!
We play our former developmental squad(now that distinction looks like its Roma’s) here. I think there maybe some letdown after the previous two matches, but the Kop will get the lads to pull this one out. This is the match where we will start to see some rotation. I can see Sturridge and/or Shaqiri getting a start here, along with Lallana in the midfield. This could be the match where Rhian Brewster or Curtis Jones at least make the bench. Maybe this is also the stretch when Fabinho gets onto the pitch. I say three points to the Reds.
In the third round of the Whateverthehellitscallednow Cup we drew Chelsea. Cheers for that one English F.A.. This match is one where Jurgen should have at least seven new players. Empty the bench. Call up the Academies. Give Phillips, Jones, Brewster, and Camacho all looks. Do not get anyone of consequence injured. Just my opinion, but winning this competition is like the Golden State Warriors winning their local Y.M.C.A tournament. Jurgen is playing with house money here. If L.F.C. win, great. If not, one less competition to muddle up the competitions that really matter.
This time the clash happens at Stamford Bridge. This could very well be our first league loss. This is the fifth match in fourteen days if my match is correct. That’s a hard stretch at any point, but being that this one is sandwiched between all the different competitions, this could be rough. Couple that, with an away match at Napoli just four days later and it all equals up to no bueno. Would love a point from this, but totally understand coming away with nothing.
The second group stage match. Although common sense says the lads will be spent, there is just something about those European nights, albeit home or away. A win here would be marvelous is terms of moving on. A tie, while not a disaster, I feel would be disappointing. Take three points and move on.
In what could prove to be the biggest match in the EPL’s first half of the season. City have to come to the Fortress. Here’s hoping history will repeat itself from their previous two trips. Hopefully it is burned into the City players minds that that haven’t beaten us in four straight. Hopefully Ederson still has whiplash from watching 11 goals go in during those last four matches. There’s a good chance that snake Sterling shrinks in the moment like he has so many times before. Hell, maybe their coach driver refuses to drive them and they have to walk from Manchester. I think we will take three points at home, and may the dreaming begin!
As always, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my ramblings!
You’ll Never Walk Alone, -Hooch-