Liverpool Club Focus - Plenty of points to play for as Reds look to get back on track
Given the current negativity surrounding Liverpool, it would be easy for the neutrals to think that Kenny Dalglish’s side were suffering a major crisis. But in reality, the Reds’ recent run of poor form is a mini crisis, which could either escalate into a monumental problem or be reversed before the season is out.
Liverpool still have seven fixtures to fulfil in the Premier League, meaning there is still 18% of the season to be played out. Observers of English football are anticipating twists and turns in the title-race, claiming that there is plenty of time for either of the top two teams to falter or go on an impressive run. Both Manchester United and Manchester City are chasing 21 valuable points, as are Liverpool. If these final few fixtures can make-or-break the title challengers’ season, then they are equally as important to all the other teams that make up the top-flight.
Over the last five seasons, the Reds have picked up an average of 14.4 points from their final seven Premier League games. While a repeat of this reasonably strong end to a season would still see Liverpool marginally miss out on matching their points tally of 58 from last term, a good run would come as a boost to fans ahead of the next campaign. Furthermore, if Dalglish manages to guide his side to more than five wins from their final seven fixtures, then they could even match their total points from last season or even beat it. While that would cap a disappointing season, it would still highlight improvement, albeit minimal.
The fixture list is also relatively kind to the Merseysiders for the remainder of the campaign. Other than Blackburn Rovers, who are fighting for their Premier League lives, and Chelsea, who are a chasing a top-four finish, the rest of the teams that Liverpool still have to play are currently in mid-table and appear to have little to play for. And even though the Reds have been beaten by lowly Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers recently, their upcoming fixtures could give them enough confidence to end the season on a high.
In addition, Liverpool have the bonus of participating in the latter stages of the FA Cup, where a Wembley semi-final against bitter rivals Everton awaits. Indeed, given the Anfield outfit’s poor run of form, it would be easy to forget that Dalglish’s side have already won a trophy this season - the Carling Cup. A cup double still remains a real possibility.
But in order to start the recovery, Liverpool will need a result against Aston Villa at Anfield this weekend. Villa have traditionally found it difficult to overcome the Reds and the Midlands side have won just two of their last 20 Premier League games against Liverpool. The upcoming fixture provides the Reds with a perfect opportunity to get back on track as they look to end the season on a high.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Liverpool v Aston Villa