A massive 18 points is up for grabs for Liverpool FC with six upcoming fixtures in December, all of them which could be seen as “winnable.” With Liverpool currently sitting at 6th in the table, and out of any European contention, Kenny Dalglish’s men have a set of games coming up that could present them the opportunity to take what Dirk Kuyt thinks will happen this year, a spot in the Top 4 heading into January.
LFC midfielder Dirk Kuyt in an interview with ESPNSoccernet, was quoted saying, “We are on the way forward. That’s what we want and we need to keep going and hopefully we can do enough to qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season.”
But could Dirk see his clubs in the Top 4 before the end of December? One could say it’s possible…
But first, let’s have a look at the two teams above Liverpool stopping them from the Champions League spot they’ve been yearning for:
Chelsea is sitting directly above us at 5th place just 1 point off of the top 4, but have a fairly difficult schedule going into December. The Blues open up the first week of December away to a Newcastle side that showed their strength at the end of the United match, and sneaking out with a controversial 1-1 draw. Chelsea then plays host to current top of the table club Manchester City, a team in which they have struggled with in the past. Manchester City could easily walk away with a win. After a seemingly easy game against Wigan, Chelsea face current top 4 and on the run team Tottenham away at White Hart Lane, another opportunity for them to drop points. Chelsea end the month with Fulham and Villa, both home games, but the combination of Tottenham, Fulham, and Villa are games that are played within just 9 days. Chelsea could have a rougher December, allowing the Reds to take over the number five spot.
The other team LFC could catch by the end of December is Newcastle United, a team enjoying a current surprising run with 26 points and just one loss. Newcastle also doesn’t have the easiest December schedule, something that LFC could pounce on when the two meet at the end of the month. To open the month, Newcastle host Chelsea, a game that could be beneficial for LFC depending on the outcome (draw would be best). After Chelsea, Newcastle travel to a fairly on form Norwich City before home games with Swansea City and WBA. Newcastle travel then to Bolton, another team struggling to gather points, but then travel to Anfield to face LFC.
Overall, for the two teams directly above LFC and the two teams that are preventing them from a top 4 slot, it is a difficult month. For Liverpool, December should be a friend.
Fixture List: Fulham (A), QPR (H), Villa (A), Wigan (A), Blackburn (H), Newcastle (H)
Six games, with 2 of these games against teams in the relegation zone, and 4 of these fixtures against teams in the bottom half of the table. Statistically, Liverpool struggles to pick up points against teams that are struggling or newly promoted, but will that be the case this time around?
To open December, LFC take on Fulham at the Craven Cottage. Last time Liverpool went away to Fulham, they came out with 3 points and a 5-2 victory, with goals coming from Maxi, Kuyt and Suarez. Next stop on the list is newly promoted side QPR who come to Anfield captained by Joey Barton (a man who deserves a standing ovation for his support of the Hillsborough families). QPR have been struggling to find results and have been very hit and miss with their results, something LFC must take advantage of. Villa is another club that have been seeing results going against them in the recent fixtures, and will be coming off a home match against Utd and an away game at Bolton. LFC should see them off if they do things their way, and avoid how last season’s ending tie went. The two fixtures after that are away and home to two teams that are planted in the relegation zone respectively. Away at Wigan last season saw LFC come away with a 1-1 draw, a result that will not hold well this year. A home match against Blackburn should hopefully be the easiest fixture of the year, with LFC looking to build as much momentum as possible heading into the home fixture against Newcastle. Speaking of, Newcastle will be coming in to the end-of-the-year fixture having had to perform against Chelsea, WBA, Swansea, Norwich, and Bolton respectively. Who knows where they could be heading to Anfield at this point? All that needs to be known is that they will be fighting just as hard as LFC to get points from this game.
Overall, I say LFC win five and draw one, the match against Newcastle, giving us 16 out of a possible 18 points. Without jinxing LFC, I think they could enjoy a very successful December if all the cards are played right, and could even be in the ideal spot of 3rd or 4th by the end of December. After all, where you are at the halfway point usually tells where you’ll be at the end of the year, and hopefully that’s in a top 4 spot.
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