It was certainly expected, but it’s been a testing few weeks on the pitch for Liverpool Football Club. The Reds ended September with a disappointing League Cup loss at home to Chelsea, before drawing with Maurizio Sarri’s side at Stamford Bridge just three days later. Liverpool then looked for success on the European stage, but fell short at the very last as Lorenzo Insigne downed Jurgen Klopp’s men with a 90th-minute winner to break the hearts of those travelling fans and indeed those watching on from around the world.
The Reds then hosted champions Manchester City as they looked to bounce back from midweek heartache, yet a missed penalty from Riyad Mahrez ensured the home side escaped unscathed from a tense battle with Pep Guardiola’s side. The goalless draw ensured that Liverpool’s unbeaten run at Anfield extended to an impressive 25 matches, the longest current run in the Premier League, yet it also meant that Klopp’s have now gone four games without a win. This is certainly a worrying statistic, particularly given their fantastic start to the 2018/19 campaign, and moreover, considering the equally impressive starts of Manchester City and Chelsea, who now sit above the Reds on goal difference in the table.
It is, however, nowhere near the stage that fans of the club should be worrying about their club’s performances on the pitch, firstly due to the quick succession of the matches but more importantly due to the quality of the opposition.
Therefore, despite their often negative connotations, the international break provided the players with the opportunity to spend some time away from Melwood and meet with their respective international sides, with countless Reds featuring heavily across both the Nations League and international friendlies. After a tough run of fixtures, it may just have been what the players and indeed the manager, needed in order to now hit the ground running and get back on track in the league and the Champions League.
And so, looking ahead to the rest of October, how exactly should Liverpool fans be feeling ahead of some crucial games?
The remainder of the month sees Klopp take an eager squad to Huddersfield this weekend in the league, before hosting both Red Star Belgrade and Cardiff in the Champions League and Premier League on the 24th and 27th respectively. To put it simply, Liverpool will be expecting to return victorious from all three meetings, and so should be taking nine points from nine as they head into a challenging November.
The following month brings with it tough fixtures with Arsenal, Watford and PSG among others, and so to remain unbeaten and furthermore successful for the rest of October should be top of the list for Klopp, who has, however, unfortunately lost Naby Keita to a hamstring injury picked up while on international duty for Guinea.
Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly bemoan the latest international break, and perhaps has every right, considering first-team regulars Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk also picked up knocks playing for Egypt and the Netherlands respectively, but, with no disrespect to Liverpool’s upcoming opposition, the Reds should be confident in achieving victory even with their injury issues. However, should they continue their recent run of poor form, Klopp’s side may find themselves slowly slipping away from the title race at this early stage of the season, a notion unheard of at the start of an exciting season for the Liverpool faithful.