31st – 31st | Days of Liverpool reckoning begins!
EPL By: Jide Alaka | 30/12/2016
Between the 31st December 2016 and 31st January 2017, Liverpool will play eight matches, of which three could be season defining. All the rhetoric from Jurgen Klopp about scoring goals must have the significance of valuable points or it would simply remain mere rhetoric Starting on December 31, when the Reds host Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City till when they host Chelsea on January 31, 2017, Klopp has eight occasions to make a loud statement on their pursuit of a first league title since 1990. Against Manchester City on Dec. 31Guardiola was part of the Anfield crowd that watched the Reds come from a goal behind to thrash Stoke City 4-1 on December 27. One characteristic he would have noticed is the utter relentlessness in pursuit of goals of this Liverpool team. They buzz for 90 minutes and sting every opportunity. Klopp knows that the only result that can help mount this title challenge is three points, considering the form of league leaders, Chelsea, who seem to have forgotten how to draw, not to talk of losing. And Pep’s team is in the same dilemma – he also needs all three points as he strives for his side to mount a credible challenge for the top of the league table.1 Against Manchester United on Jan. 15Assuming the lead is still six points to Chelsea at this time, Liverpool would be hard pressed to drop any point at Old Trafford as Jose Mourinho’s team are striving to make top four. The first encounter at Anfield brought forth a sterile 0-0 draw, where Mourinho showed his stifling quality and the ability to stop opponents playing to their rhythm. This is a very dicey encounter that is too close to call but in which Klopp might just need all three points to keep their title pursuit on
even keel for the visit of the Blues. Against Chelsea on Jan. 31All things been equal [though all things are never equal], Chelsea could arrive Anfield with a lead greater than six points which would mean that Liverpool would have to beat Antonio Conte’s men to have any guise of a title hunt. But the lead could also be just three points, which could mean that three points would guarantee them taking over the leadership of the league table. In between these three matches, Liverpool will travel to Sunderland; play Southampton twice in League Cup semi-finals, where he is expected to rotate his players. In football, 720 minutes could mean a lifetime or it could just be status quo, but it makes the journey more exhilarating – so much to look forward to.