HomePREMIER LEAGUELiverpool may publish a Premier League statement after comprehending the harsh reality...

Liverpool may publish a Premier League statement after comprehending the harsh reality of the fixture list.


Liverpool may publish a Premier League statement after comprehending the harsh reality of the fixture list.

Liverpool has had another difficult start to the Premier League season.

It’s one of football’s most persistent myths. Every team has to face each other twice, so why does the order of the games matter?

If that were the case, the fixtures might be played in the same order every season, with promoted teams replacing demoted teams.

Except that they are not. For good reason, Liverpool will have been eager to learn the details of their Premier League schedule for the upcoming season on Thursday morning.

The Reds knew they’d be on the road to begin the season after requesting to play their first game away from home in order to give the £80 million Anfield Road stand refurbishment more time.

A trip to Chelsea, on the other hand, represents arguably their most difficult first assignment since Jurgen Klopp’s first season, when Liverpool travelled to Arsenal and won 4-3, a significant early statement of intent in a season that saw the Reds fly out of the blocks and eventually reclaim their place in the Champions League.

A recurrence of the circumstance would undoubtedly be most welcome. And the truth is that the calendar can have an impact on a team’s fortunes, especially early on.

Last season, Liverpool’s pre-World Cup road schedule included games against two of the three promoted clubs, four of their primary top-four opponents, and neighbours Everton. While the trip to Chelsea was eventually postponed, Liverpool only took five points in the other six away games.

Yes, various variables contributed to the Reds’ eventual excellent showing in the last months of the season. However, it should be noted that their run of only two league defeats in their past 18 games – one of which was at Manchester City – was aided in part by a more favorable fixture schedule compared to the first half of the season.

That is why Liverpool will be concerned if they are given a difficult start to their road calendar this season. The Reds must go to four of their key six title contenders in the first seven away games, including trips to Newcastle later in August, Tottenham Hotspur in September, and Manchester City in late November. There’s also a meeting at promoted Luton Town, as well as trips to Wolves and Brighton, where Klopp’s team was crushed 3-0 last season.

Everything adds up to the new design. Liverpool will face a particularly difficult test in the early going as they attempt to build on the momentum garnered during their 11-game unbeaten run at the close of last season.

At the very least, the Reds appear to have a more appetizing run of home games ahead of them, with Manchester United the first top-four rivals to visit on December 16, the first of four such games either side of Christmas. With Arsenal away, the middle of the season appears to be a watershed moment.

Looking beyond the first few months, though, is frequently fruitless, given how much the campaign is molded by those early games. And Liverpool will just want to improve on their terrible start to the season last year, when they took only 10 points from their first eight games and fell 14 points behind then-leaders Arsenal. They were never in the top four.

With no winter World Cup, a full pre-season, and a decent break between seasons, many of the challenges that Klopp and his squad faced last season are no longer relevant.

And, while Liverpool hasn’t had the smoothest start, those first few months still provide an opportunity to make a significant statement that their inability to qualify for the Champions League this season was a one-time occurrence.

Liverpool may publish a Premier League statement after comprehending the harsh reality of the fixture list.

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