A Promising Start for the Reds
To have picked up ten points from their opening four Premier League games this season is a fantastic effort by Liverpool, given the fixtures and uphill battles they have faced.
In two matches, the Reds have found themselves with 10 men for much of the game, against Bournemouth and Newcastle, but they showed real heart and secured victories, especially in the latter.
Meanwhile, a draw away to Chelsea on the opening weekend was a solid result, even if the Blues were there for the taking at one point, while a highly-rated Aston Villa team were swatted aside at Anfield last time around.
Looking Forward: Challenges and Commitments
With the internationals now done and dusted, Liverpool now have four more league games on the horizon – there are also Europa League and League Cup commitments thrown in – prior to the next painful break in the middle of October.
Up first is Saturday’s trip to Wolves, which has banana skin written all over it, especially given the Reds’ record in lunchtime kickoffs recently. The fact that it comes straight after an international break is also far from ideal, with Jurgen Klopp’s men guilty of lacking rhythm and time on the training ground. Who could forget last season’s insipid one-nil loss at Bournemouth, for example?
Of course, Liverpool should prevail at Molineux, considering how superior they are, but we have seen this one before and it is a clear mental barrier to overcome. After that, the games only get harder, with the visit of high-flying West Ham up next, as David Moyes looks to get one over on his former rivals while at Everton.
Facing the Hammers
Again, Liverpool will be the understandable favourites, but the Hammers look like a settled and dangerous outfit with genuine attacking quality, whether it be the silky Lucas Paqueta, direct Jarrod Bowen or physical Michail Antonio. Their counter-attacking threat will be on show, and if the Reds aren’t on the ball from minute one, it has the potential to become a really sticky outing for them.
The clash with West Ham is followed by a trip to another in-form side in Tottenham, who look revitalised under Ange Postecoglou, sitting level on points with Liverpool. Klopp’s team are the only Premier League side yet to be beaten at the hugely impressive Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but this could be their sternest test yet there. Finally, this tough-looking four-match run ends with an away meeting with Brighton, in a fixture that brings back horrible memories from last season, when Alexis Mac Allister and company won 3-0 at the Amex Stadium.
The Bigger Picture: Expectations and Realities
Any football lover can appreciate how impressive this Seagulls outfit are, with Roberto De Zerbi already name-checked as a possible successor to Klopp, and this will be a big examination going into the next batch of internationals. We all love being optimistic as football fans, and we no doubt dream of Liverpool taking maximum points from this quartet of outings, but not doing so would be no disaster in the slightest. Realistically, a draw at Spurs or Brighton would be perfectly adequate, assuming Wolves and West Ham are seen off, and another ten points would further suggest that the Merseysiders could continue to stay in touch with Man City. Twelve out of twelve really would cause excitement, though!
On the flip side, if Liverpool slip up in at least two of the games, it would show that a top-four finish is a more realistic aim and that City will likely pull away into the sunset and seal a fifth title in succession. The first hurdle has been cleared impressively by the Reds, but the second one could be an even greater task.