LIVERPOOL PUT SIX PAST WATFORD TO GO TOP BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL BREAK
League football returns Saturday with Liverpool perched at the top of the
table. Jurgen Klopp’s side have impressed many with their exciting attacking
play, even if doubts remain about their defending.
obviously too soon for title talk, but Liverpool fans have cause for optimism
as the season approaches midpoint.
First, on current form, Liverpool is fully
deserving of their place at the top. Burnley aside, Klopp's team have been near
perfect, winning seven of their last nine matches, plundering a league-high 30
goals, and scoring four or more goals in five of their matches so far.
The Reds are yet to be
outplayed this season, which is saying plenty, considering that they started
the season with a tough schedule: Trips to Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea, as
well as home games against Manchester United and defending champions Leicester.
Second, if form speaks to
history, then upcoming fixtures,
point to the future and Liverpool's next eight matches - up to the season's midway
point - offer more reason for optimism.
Of those eight games, six pitch
the Reds against teams currently placed between 10th and 20th on the league
table. Their record this season against teams currently placed 8th or lower
reads: played 7, won 6, lost 1. Eighteen points from a possible total of 21. If
they keep up that kind of form going into the New Year’s Eve showdown with
Manchester City, they'll be well in the mix.
Especially since, over the same
period, Chelsea play both Spurs and Man City; Arsenal play Man Utd and Man
City, and Spurs play Chelsea and Man Utd. Then, there's squad health and depth. So far,
Liverpool have been blessed with the former - no major injuries to key players
- but they also look well covered with the latter, especially in attack where a
fit Sturridge can barely get a game. Emre Can is also back to fitness in
midfield, meaning Lallana, Wijnaldum and Henderson need not be overworked, and
Klavan and Lucas have so far provided adequate cover for Matip and Lovren in
But.......this is football.
Form can turn, easy looking fixtures can become banana skins, bad luck can set
in and injuries are a constant risk. Or Liverpool's penchant for giving up soft
goals may just cost them at some point. Titles aren't won in November and no
one is rolling out the ticker tape just yet.
now though, if they keep their good form, avoid ill-fortune and stay healthy, Klopp's
team looks well poised to keep up the challenge.