The Reds did not just survive their tough start, they thrived. A victory did come at the Emirates, though we did not expect it to arrive in such thrilling manner. Jurgen Klopp’s men could not follow up with another victory at Burnley, and even failed to settle for a predicted point.
As correctly predicted, another single point followed at White Hart Lane, before Klopp’s side ushered in over 8,000 more Liverpool fans in Anfield’s newly renovated main stand with three convincing points against Claudio Ranieri’s champions. The Reds outperformed our expectations and came away with all three points at Stamford Bridge, before securing two more victories against Hull and at Swansea as predicted, with varying levels of difficulty. Klopp then had to settle for a single point in a dour draw against rivals Manchester United.
What’s coming up next looks like a bunch of more manageable fixtures for the Reds. However, coming in as favourites hasn’t always helped Liverpool sides in recent years, and Klopp will seek to eradicate any complacency and ensure his side build on a fine start to the season so far.
Klopp will be looking to get one over Tony Pulis this season after settling for a disappointing draw at home to West Bromwich Albion last season, in what was a pretty furious battle between the two managers. The Reds should be able to avenge last season’s draw with a win here.
Following that is a trip to Selhurst Park, where last season’s winner was scored by current-Crystal Palace star Christian Benteke. With Liverpool’s well-known set-piece problems and Palace’s attacking threat coming from wide crosses and the aerial ability of Benteke and Connor Wickham, the Reds might be in for a tough battle and would do well to come away avoiding defeat.
The Reds then enter November with a home tie against Watford. Even though Serie A veteran Walter Mazzarri has improved the Hornets with the introduction of a 5-3-2 formation, Liverpool should have enough about them to sneak a win. A tough away tie at Southampton follows, but with the Saints looking to play expansive football at home, this might just suit the Reds as they will be able to find that bit more space and secure another three points at St. Mary’s.
can the reds find consistency against ‘more beatable’ sides?
Assuming Sunderland visits Anfield with David Moyes still intact, Liverpool fans will absolutely demand that their side rip apart a side coached by the former Everton and Manchester United manager. Another trip to the south coast beckons shortly after and the Reds should be able to continue their momentum at Bournemouth.
A possibly-rejuvenated West Ham United side visits Anfield next, and the Reds might have to settle for a point against Dimitri Payet and gang, before they round up this second set of fixtures with a trip to Teesside to face Victor Karanka’s Middlesborough side. All three points is simply the minimum if Klopp’s men are to enter the Christmas periods with any thoughts of a top 4 challenge.
With that, Liverpool should optimistically aim to secure another 20 points from a possible 24, coming up to a total of 37 points (which is 2 points clear of Leicester at the same stage last season and 2 clear of Arsenal during that 2013/14 campaign).
Can Liverpool do it? Will Klopp’s men sit pretty at the top as they enter the festive period?
These predictions will be reviewed at the end of this second run of fixtures in the preview of the Reds’ third chunk of games.