Here we are, 14 games into the season and the lads have finally broken us into the Top 6! Wow, that was really painful to say. In late July, if you had asked me how I’d feel about Liverpool FC going into the World Cup at 6th in the table, I would’ve surely laughed at the thought of it. “Not possible! Even if we’re riddled with injuries, we’ll be in the Top 4!” Things obviously have not worked out like anyone thought they would, but I do believe there is a reason to go into this break with a positive attitude.
READ MORE: Getting Back On The Trail To Greatness by David Rice
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Watching The World Cup From Afar
The World Cup will certainly play a factor for the rest of the season to come. This could be a huge
blessing for the Mighty Reds for several reasons. The first is that the majority of our squad will get
rest. Thiago, Bobby, and Mo are all on the older end of their prime and will benefit greatly from the rest.
Remember how depleted Mo looked near the end of last season? Carrying his entire Egypt squad
into failure twice really took a toll. With that rest, accordingly, we will also get recovery. This extra month is huge for players like Diaz, Jota, and Matip. I’m not sure an extra month will do any good for Naby. He’s most likely picked up another muscle injury during the writing of the article. For Jota and Diaz, a month may be exactly what is needed. They are both young and resilient. Don’t forget how quickly Harvey made it back after that horrific dislocation last season. Will they be back for Boxing Day? I doubt it, but getting what is usually a very congested December off is still a very big deal.
The next blessing for us is the fact that we are only losing seven players to the World Cup. Of the squads ahead of us in the table, only Newcastle has fewer players going to the tournament. City is sending 16 players in total and 10 of their regular starting 11. Erling Haaland is the only starter from their last match not going. Manchester United is sending 15. Spurs are sending 11 and Arsenal 10. Newcastle will only be sending five players.
Coming Back From Qatar
League leaders Arsenal currently sit 15 points above us, and the gap to City is 11 points. It does look
quite bleak, but I believe a title race isn’t COMPLETELY out of reach. Comparatively, Arsenal still has to play City and Newcastle twice, travel to Spurs, and most importantly come to Anfield. That is 18 very tough points for the Gunners and if they come out of that gauntlet with more than 10, then they deserve the title. I also believe it will be tough for City to keep pace all year. DeBruyne, Silva, and Gundogan aren’t getting any younger, their service to Haaland directly reflects his output. Also, they no longer have those absolute rocks in defense like Fernandinho and Kompany. They have been vulnerable at times and this will hopefully increase as the season progresses.
We know that this squad can go on an epic run to make things interesting. We have a number of factors working in our favor. Hopefully, this dumpster fire of a World Cup will be exactly what is needed to extinguish our own dumpster fire. I would like to finish by stating that I am not saying we’re going to win the league, but I’m not counting anything out, not yet anyway. All I’m saying is my outlook on the next 24 games looks brighter than the last 14. Here’s to the health of the squad, a return to form, and a month to get my blood pressure back to normal.