Steven Gerrard believes the break in action during the World Cup will benefit Liverpool and he’s hoping that Jurgen Klopp’s side will ‘come flying out the blocks’ when domestic football returns next week.
The FA Cup champions, who are currently out in Dubai at a training camp, travel to the Etihad to face Manchester City in the League Cup on December 22 before returning to Premier League action against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
The Reds have won just six of their opening 14 league games this term but the Scouser is expecting his former side to finish the campaign strongly.
“Yeah, it is [like a second pre-season]. It’s an opportunity to get a lot of work in on the training ground [and] reset a few things,” Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.com about the Anfield outfit’s training camp in the Middle East.
“I’m sure Jürgen and his staff are doing a lot of things tactically but [it’s] also an opportunity to have a much-needed rest. They’ve played a lot of football over the last few years, they were involved in every competition last year.
“So to have a small pre-season before a ball was kicked [and then] to have this opportunity to rest and then have a second build-up, I’m hoping that Liverpool come flying out of the blocks.
“I expect a really strong six months and finish to the season because important players have had the chance to rest and recover and the players [who have been] in the World Cup should come back full of confidence, in a good place, physically ready.
“I expect a really strong, exciting finish to the season for the Reds.”
There are plenty of reasons for Reds fans to be optimistic ahead of the return of club football.
We may be sat sixth in the table and already find ourselves 15 points behind league leaders Arsenal, but we’re still competing on all four fronts and have a Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid to look forward to next year.
Our start to the campaign was far from ideal, but before the break for the World Cup we’d won eight of our last ten games (across all competitions) and were coming into some sort of form.
The hope is that we can continue that form starting with our clash with Pep Guardiola’s side next week.