Liverpool’s nightmare before Christmas: Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs

Brendan Rodgers

Six matches which will have a huge bearing on the Reds' season.

Brendan Rodgers is not a man for a dramatic reaction, so his summary of Liverpool’s fixtures leading up to Christmas was characteristically under-stated.

“This little period will test us now,” reflected the smooth-talking Northern Irishman after quite possibly the worst weekend Liverpool will suffer this season.

A 3-1 bludgeoning at Hull, an injury to top-scorer Daniel Sturridge which will keep him out for up to eight weeks, and wins for Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City to make things even tighter at the top of the Premier League table.

A test? Aye, Brendan, it will be. And it’s not a ‘little’ period either.

It is the period which will decide whether the Reds head into the new year as Champions League challengers or Europa League also-rans – or worse.

It is the period which throws up trips to Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea, as well as only slightly less tricky home matches against Norwich City, Cardiff City and West Ham United. Norwich are first up at Anfield on Wednesday evening.

The statistics do not make pleasant viewing for any Liverpool fan. The Reds have lost their last six – yes, six – visits to White Hart Lane. To delve slightly deeper is to see that Liverpool have won once at the Lane since May 2003.

Tottenham may be in a wretched run of form at the moment, but for some reason form goes out the window when Liverpool go to the Lane. They really do hate it.

And then there’s Chelsea, where Liverpool’s recent record is actually not too bad: their last defeat at StamfordBridge came in October 2009, since which time they have won three times and drawn once. This is, though, a Chelsea side who have won six of their seven league games at home this season.

Oh, and they’ve NEVER been beaten under Jose Mourinho at StamfordBridge.

There follows the trip to the Etihad, a ground where Liverpool have not won since Dirk Kuyt’s late, late winner in October 2008. The two sides drew 2-2 last season, and Liverpool did manage a 1-0 win at the Etihad in the League Cup in 2012.

All in all, they are three nightmare Premier League away trips, which come at the very moment Liverpool’s small squad is showing the first signs of cracking under the relentless strain of Premier League football.

Rodgers is not a man for a dramatic reactions, but even he must eye Liverpool’s next six games with a raised eyebrow. Perhaps even a ‘tut’.

image: © strabanephotos

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