Written by Guest.
Liverpool and Manchester City are now the only two teams in the Premiership who remain unbeaten in the league. There were three teams maintaining an unbeaten run before the weekend, but Chelsea’s stretch was ended emphatically by Tottenham Hotspur who beat them 3-1 at Wembley.
Looking ahead, Liverpool who are currently unbeaten in the league in 13 games, have a tough spell ahead of them as they progress into their winter fixings.
Over the next 36 days, they are scheduled to play ten matches starting with a tough away fixture against PSG in the Champions’ League and ending with an away fixture when they face Manchester City at the Etihad on the 3rd of January.
This spell of 10 games includes another Champions’ League match when they entertain Napoli at Anfield. They also have home games scheduled against Manchester United and Arsenal.
The importance of starting the season well cannot be underestimated. Last season the Reds had a poor start by their own standards. But they improved as the season progressed and finished in fourth place. This season their great start has meant they are in second and are serious contenders for completing the campaign as champions.
When they face arch-rivals Manchester City the Reds will be hoping that they will be able to repeat their performance in January this year when they became the team that ended City’s then-unbeaten run. They won 4-3 at Anfield in what turned out to be an epic game.
In a recent interview, Joe Gomez (Liverpool and England) said he and the rest of the squad are determined to keep the momentum going. He explained that when the momentum is there, as a player you just want to keep on playing games to maintain the flow.
Gomez went on to say that one of the most critical factors in any run is recovering in between games. It means you need to be in top physical condition, something that the culture at Liverpool embraces under manager Jürgen Klopp.
The 21-year-old maintains that when things are working in your favour, it helps to take your mind off any fatigue. It’s when things start going against you that those nagging aches and pains come more to the fore.
For his part, Jürgen Klopp says that despite his team’s 13-game unbeaten run in the Premiership, and the improvements in performance that the team his made, that there is still plenty more to come, and he believes that Roberto Firmino, Liverpool’s 27-year-old Brazilian attacking midfielder, will in his own words prove “unbelievably invaluable.”
With Mo Salah now playing a more central role in attack, Firmino is playing slightly deeper where his job is to link play between the midfield and strikers. It does mean that the Brazilian will not have as many opportunities to score. Last season he notched up 27 goals, and so far this season his total is only 45.
His new role is more as a facilitator, keeping play moving smoothly and creating opportunities for others as well as the odd chance for himself.
For Liverpool’s last home game against Fulham, which they won 2-0, Klopp had invited 20 German coaches to Anfield. All twenty were immensely impressed with Firmino, saying what a player he is. His work rate and his ability to open up chance upon chance for his teammates was to be admired.
If Liverpool are to continue their momentum, the Brazilian will contribute more than anyone else, providing that all-important link between midfield and attack, as long as he can stay injury free.