At the halfway stage of the season, we look at how Liverpool have performed.
Prediction at the start of the season
With all the uncertainty surrounding the future of Luis Suarez, Liverpool’s Champions League credentials looked questionable, despite the signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho the previous January. It was expected Liverpool would challenge for the Champions League places, but would fall short around March/April time.
How have they Liverpool done so far
The second highest scorers in the league, and firmly in the mix for a Champions League place with some even believing they have a shot at the title - despite the losses to Manchester City and Chelsea over the festive period. Many people will have scoffed at the suggestion that the Reds could top the table at Christmas, but that’s what they managed.
9/10. People will always see room for improvement, but Brendan Rodgers has done a fine job so far this season by getting Liverpool right in the thick of things, especially considering the side has finished no higher than sixth in the previous four seasons.
Best game Liverpool have been involved in
Everton 3-3 Liverpool. One of the most entertaining Merseyside derbies for over two decades which saw them take the lead twice through Coutinho and Suarez, and were pegged back twice by the Blues before Everton took the lead late on - Only for Sturridge to come off the bench to equalise.
Liverpool's stand-out player
Luis Suarez. Nuff said.
Simon Mignolet has done well trying to fill the boots of Pepe Reina, whilst Kolo Toure has become a fans favourite. Mamadou Sakho has been rivalling Daniel Agger for a spot in the centre of defence, and though he's appeared a bit rough around the edges, he looks as if he could be an effective player for the club. Luis Alberto has been a bit part player, but has shown flashes of quality. Tiago Ilori has yet to see any first team action. Iago Aspas has yet to find the net, but hasn’t had many opportunities and has struggled with injury.
Most significant win of the season
Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool. You can say that turmoil at Tottenham was a factor, but take nothing away from Liverpool’s performance. With both Steven Gerrard and Sturridge absent, Jordan Henderson and Suarez put in wonderful performances to send out a message to the rest of the league.
Liverpool's low point so far
Hull City 3-1 Liverpool. By far their most disappointing display this season, and if they miss out on their target come May then this will certainly be a fixture viewed as a missed opportunity. Liverpool were poor, sloppy and complacent.
Strengthening in January
The Reds’ squad does look a little on the thin side, and Rodgers will no doubt want to add. Another full-back would be a good move, as would a central midfielder with a bit of bite. Possibly also an experienced striker happy to be behind Suarez and Sturridge in the pecking order.
What can we expect from Liverpool for the rest of the season
Expect Liverpool to keep up their impressive home record. They should improve on the road as well. At this stage it seems foolish to rule them out of the title picture, but they will be incredibly disappointed if they don’t make the top four.
image: © helly - b
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