It’s fair to say that Liverpool haven’t been brilliant of late. Before the 3-0 win over Huddersfield on Saturday Jurgen Klopp’s team had won twice in their last 10 games. This included frustrating draws to Newcastle, Spartak Moscow, Burnley and Sevilla and away embarrassments to City and Spurs. While the first half performance didn’t blow Huddersfield away the second half performance certainly did, the team came flying out of the blocks and Sturridge, Firmino and Wijnaldum gave the Reds a comfortable win at home.
With that win under their belts Liverpool can now look forward to games against Maribor, West Ham away and Southampton; all games that you would expect Liverpool to win and comfortably too if everyone is up for it. These games give the team a chance to build up something that has been missing for the majority of the season – Confidence and momentum. Liverpool play their best football when they are feared and recently the fear factor hasn’t been there. Teams have a game plan going in that they know will work and with our defence as it is any opposition can face us and be confident that they could grab a goal. Troy Deeney was applauded for his truthful but scathing review of Arsenal, opposition fans mocked and Arsenal fans couldn’t bite back because they knew he was right. Annoyingly the points he made about the Gunners are parallel to the flaws at Liverpool, if you keep things tight at the back and don’t concede an early goal then there are players at Liverpool who you can bully and force a mistake out of.
Huddersfield came into the game with this plan in mind, and in the first half, it seemed like the same old story; like we’d seen this game five or six times over already this season. As we know Liverpool were eventually able to capitalise on a mistake from Smith and after the first goal the team really looked more confident. The one-touch passing was back, Henderson’s long balls were connecting and everything started to click going forward. The teams we face in our next three fixtures will certainly try to employ the same tactics to get a result from the game but we need to use our momentum from the Huddersfield game to break them down.
After our last win in the league against Leicester, we had a really good opportunity to gain momentum before facing Manchester United three weeks later. Parallel results away in Moscow and Newcastle meant that by the time we played United it was right back to the same old Liverpool. We have two massively important games in our season coming at the end of November, we face Sevilla away in the hardest game of the group and then welcome Chelsea to Anfield four days later. By that point, Liverpool hopefully should be on a four-game winning streak – something we haven’t managed since August with two successive wins over Hoffenheim and victories against Crystal Palace and Arsenal. Maribor have already seen how deadly we can be and the fixture at Anfield should be no different, West Ham are one point off the relegation zone and whilst Southampton are 9th their season has been hit and miss so far.
The three fixtures are broken up slightly by yet another international break and as boring as they are the week break from league fixtures is good news for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has already confirmed that Lallana and Mane will make a return and with Coutinho’s injury not being as bad as first feared Liverpool might be able to field their strongest line-up for the Chelsea game. It also gives us a bit more strength in depth going forward, we face Sevilla away and Chelsea at home in the space of five days so it’s highly unlikely the same starting XI will play both games. At the moment it is a lot of ifs and buts to go off but the fixture list gives Liverpool a real chance to turn a corner and get themselves out of this rut they’ve been in for most of 2017, with a couple of wins and a boatload of goals in the next few weeks we could hopefully start to see a return of the free-scoring team that blew teams away in late 2016.