Just how big is Liverpool's League Cup clash against Bournemouth?

Brendan Rodgers 2

Some would say Rodgers is two defeats away from his fate being decided as Liverpool manager, whilst others will say this week could help the Reds turn around their season.

Think of all the hyperbolic adjectives there are in the English language, and the chances are they have been used to describe Liverpool's trip to Bournemouth in the League Cup for Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

Without a doubt, it's a crucial spell for the side. With the Reds slumping to 11th in the Premier League after a humbling defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford which has been typical of their league form so far this term, exposing their deficiencies once again, the pressure has mounted on the Northern Irishman with the side a shadow compared to last season's dazzling unit which came so close to improbably ending their 24-year wait for a league title.

Failure to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League has represented a huge blow, and meaning that one objective set out at the start of the season hasn't been achieved. 

If Liverpool want to have the chance at Europe's top table again next season, they could do with the win going into the game against Arsenal, which one would think the Reds have to win to keep their chances of finishing in the top four alive.

Rodgers himself has had his say on the significance of this game, telling reporters: "It would obviously give us confidence to get through and then go into a two-legged semi-final. We're in competitions to win trophies, so if we can get the victory against Bournemouth and get through, the aim for us would be to hopefully go on and win the competition. That's why we're in it."

A cup run would be a sign of tangible progress even if there has been a decline of the league form. The most notable cup run for Rodgers thus far was to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season - so to reach either the semi-final or the final of this competition would show his intention to bring silverware to the club. This certainly represents his best chance of lifting his first piece of silverware at the club and to go out of this would prove to be a big blow.

Winning against Bournemouth would mean a cup semi-final, representing a real chance of a trip to Wembley, and a lift for the side ahead of a must-win game against Arsenal ahead of the festive period. Winning both would mean a large amount of pressure comes off the Northern Irishman's shoulders.

Between now and the rest of the month could define Liverpool's season. But Bournemouth, and Arsenal, could be the two biggest games of it, yet.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch