The first international break of the season is over and September has just begun in Liverpool.
Festive periods are usually, the defining moments for a team’s ambition, but for a team on the stiff side of draws like Liverpool, it starts now.
Within the last 15 days of the month under the spotlight, Liverpool will face Tottenham Hotspurs at Wembley in a Premier League game before returning home to welcome French giants, PSG in their Champions League curtain raiser. Southampton (Premier League) and Chelsea (Carabao Cup) will visit Anfield in the space of three days and the Reds will cap off a busy routine with a visit to the Stamford Bridge.
Safe to say the Reds began the month on the rough edges; Jurgen Klopp himself admitted the team was not at its best yet, following a scrappy 2-1 win away at Leicester City but that must be left behind, as the remaining days of the month have little or no room for excuses.
It’s been over 14 days since recording their best start to a Premier League campaign, and the 24 members of the squad who were on duty for their respective national teams are back in Melwood, and work must resume immediately.
“We have the whole of September a lot of games, only against top teams. We need all of the players, that’s good,” Klopp said.
“We have come through the period where it looked like we didn’t need all of them because we played quite a consistent line-up and the level in training was high. That’s all cool. Hopefully,y they all come back healthy as we have to use them all because of the number of games. ” Klopp remarked after the last game which ushered in the international break
There couldn’t have been a more perfect fixture to get the challenge underway; a trip to Wembley to face an unchanged Tottenham Hotspurs who ran the Reds out 4-1 at the same ground last year.
That defeat, marked a turning point for the Reds last season, and this term, there won’t be anything lesser than banishing last season’s nightmare on the minds of Klopp’s stalwarts. A perfect start cannot be overemphasized.
Three days after playing Spurs, the Reds will host PSG in their first game of the 2018/19 Champions League. Another painful memory will certainly come back, and that’s the painful loss to Real Madrid in the 2017/18 final. This tie will definitely offer much in attack as both teams, arguably have the most potent fronts threes in the World.
Liverpool boasts of the deadly trio of Salah, Firminho and Mane while the visiting PSG will also unleash Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe.
Four days later, Liverpool will resume domestic duties at home again, to Southampton in the Premier League before welcoming Chelsea in the league cup. It gets a little bit tough here as there is only one day between the two fixtures.
All things being equal, the Reds must maintain their good run of form in the league and must aim to advance into the 4th round of the Carabao Cup at the expense of a Sarri balling Chelsea. They have to challenge for every silverware that is available and that’s where the current depth in the the squad is needed. Whether he wants it or not, Klopp can afford to mix fringe players and few starters here.
Wrapping up September for Liverpool would be Chelsea again five days later in the Premier League. It is as important as their last meeting and the predictable thing is that one of them would be coming off the back of progress in the Carabao Cup and they will both attempt to halt the perfect run of each other in the league.
Everything, including caution would be thrown into this game and teeming fans can be sure of pure class and entertainment as Sarri ball collides with ghenghen pressing.
The world is midway into September and Liverpool are getting down into its business end.
It’s going to be a month to remember.