This weekend the Reds host Arsenal as they look to comeback from a lacklustre performance on Monday night.
A trip to the King Power Stadium just four days ago saw Liverpool lose to current champions Leicester City, who are now fighting relegation. The loss was a huge one, one that could end all hopes for top four this season.
It has been a terrible start to 2017 and Liverpool will be hoping for a better month in March. They will be going head-to-head with Arsenal in the race for a Champions League spot so points cannot be dropped.
Liverpool remain in fifth place, below Arsenal who have a game in hand, and are just a victory away from returning to the top four. Having only picked up two victories since the turn of the new year the Reds are in desperate need of a win, and with rivals Manchester United having tallied up the points, they sit just one point below Liverpool in sixth place.
Arsenal go into the game on the back of their 2-0 FA Cup victory over Sutton United, however they were slaughtered by Bayern Munich just a fortnight ago. They have had an inconsistent second half of the season but would hope to catch up to their north London rivals Tottenham who are just three points ahead.
The last encounter between the teams was on the opening day of the season which saw Liverpool leave the Emirates winners after a seven-goal thriller. The Reds won 3-4 and would hope to continue their record in the league against their top-six opponents.
Jürgen Klopp has a lot of questions to answer about his side’s style of play as their season has crumbled before their eyes in spectacular fashion. The gaffer has been heavily criticised by Dietmar Hamann for lacking a Plan B to his ‘high-intensity attacking system’, which seems to have burnt out his players, something that happened towards the end of his time with Borussia Dortmund. As rival teams Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Man United are all coming into form, Liverpool seem to have been left behind.
I really don’t want to have to say this, but Klopp’s record after 55 games in charge of the club is worse than Brendan Rodgers’ was. He needs a big win to calm the fans down, and ease the ever-growing pressure from the media as the team don’t seemed to have moved forward from the Rodgers era.
Klopp said “Qualifying for the Champions League would be a big success, 100 percent. Qualifying for the Europa League, I’m not sure that I could sell it as success.”
The boss will be taking things one game at a time, but a win on Saturday evening is crucial for Liverpool’s league position as well as team morale.
He says, “It [Europa League] would be ok, and it would be a step in the right direction.”
Arsenal players had a short break before returning to training on Wednesday. Mesut Özil is still a doubt for the match after being sent home from training with an illness. Mohamed Elneny is also unavailable due to an ankle injury. However, the Gunners will be welcoming back both Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny. Ramsey has been missing for the last four games having sustained a calf injury. Koscielny suffered a thigh injury in the 5-1 defeat at Bayern Munich.
Change is definitely in the air as Liverpool prepare to face their top-four rivals.
Simon Mignolet reclaimed the gloves and has given Klopp little reason to alter that.
The defence is where the problems lie. Klopp has a lot to ponder as he tries to fix the leaky rearguard.
Dejan Lovren had been sidelined for the last three games due to a knee injury but was pictured in training at Melwood on Thursday. Whether he will start or not is still undecided by Klopp.
Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge are ruled out against the Gunners having sustained a foot injury and a hip strain respectively. Sturridge flew back to Merseyside having left the football camp in La Manga due to a virus. He then picked up a strain in his hip muscle in a rehab session.
Given our recent form I shouldn’t be expecting a lot, however we always impress against the top teams, so my prediction is a 3-1 win for the Reds. I may be optimistic but Arsenal aren’t that consistent, so it’s definitely a possibility.
What do you think the score will be? Comment below or tweet me.