The third and final international break of the autumn gives Liverpool fans a chance to draw breath and take stock of the Reds’ season so far, before the turbo-charge of 10 games in 32 days once club action resumes.
While many of Jurgen Klopp’s squad are jetting off to represent their countries this week, those remaining on Merseyside will have some welcome down-time, which they may put to use by playing games such as those from Vulkan Vegas.
With roughly a third of the campaign boxed off, let’s review how it’s gone for LFC so far across the three competitions in which they’ve played.
Liverpool are in a very healthy position in the Premier League table, sitting just one point behind leaders Manchester City, who they meet next at the Etihad Stadium.
The Reds have 27 points from their first dozen matches, boasting the league’s joint-best defensive record with only 10 goals conceded. That’s 11 points more than we had at the equivalent stage last season, when we were ninth in the table following a 1-2 defeat at home to Leeds.
Six wins out of six at Anfield by an aggregate scoreline of 17-2 have helped to fuel hopes of a prolonged title challenge, but our prospects of being crowned champions are minimal unless we improve upon an away record which has seen us win just two out of six games on the road, and none since mid-September.
City at the Etihad is as tough an assignment as they come, but our three away games in December against Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Burnley must yield the maximum return of nine points if we’re to be serious about topping the table at the end of the season.
Gallingly, an opportunity for Liverpool to wrap up top spot in Group E was squandered last Thursday when they deservedly lost 3-2 to Toulouse. However, the Reds are still well on course to make it into the knockout phase without too much drama.
Victory at home to bottom club LASK in our next game on 30 November would ensure progression, and it’d also seal first place if Toulouse fail to beat Union Saint-Gilloise the same night. Topping the group is paramount, as it’d send us straight into the round of 16 in March, thus avoiding a play-off tie the previous month.
Liverpool’s destiny is in their own hands. Win their final two games and top spot is theirs, irrespective of what happens elsewhere.
Liverpool are the only team in the current Premier League top six remaining in the Carabao Cup, which has suddenly opened up as theoretically our easiest route to a trophy this season.
A home tie against West Ham awaits in the quarter-finals, and one of Chelsea or Newcastle will be knocked out at that stage as they face each other.
Klopp will continue to rotate for this competition, especially amid a hectic December, but a much-changed Reds line-up could still get the better of David Moyes’ side, which’d put a late February trip to Wembley within touching distance.
Liverpool’s season won’t be defined by what they do in the Carabao Cup, but the squad will unquestionably have designs on winning it from here.