Liverpool in for make-or-break week, admits former defender

Dominic Matteo believes that Liverpool's next three games will define where they will end up this season.

Unenviable is a bit of an understatement for Liverpool's next three opponents in all competitions.

This weekend, they face a trip north to play a Newcastle side who have won their last three games in all competitions.

Then, there is a short trip to Spain for the small matter of a clash with Champions League holders Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Should Liverpool lose to Real again, it would leave them bottom of Group B with only three points from four games.

If those two fixtures weren't tough enough, however, next Saturday they will line up against table-toppers Chelsea at Anfield.

And, Dominic Matteo, who came through the ranks at Liverpool and made 129 appearances for the club, admits the outcome of these three games will define the Reds' season.

"This is a real tough week ahead for Liverpool. This is a real defining point of the season for them," Matteo told talkSPORT.

"You look at the next three games coming up, that is a real tough, tough week. I think after this week we will know which way Liverpool's season is going."

With Sturridge still injured and Balotelli not producing the goods in the goalscoring department (although he did score late on against Swansea City in the Capital One Cup), Matteo has also called upon Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to give Rickie Lambert a chance to lead the attack.

He added: "I think the fans want to see Lambert. I definitely want to see him given a chance.

"He has not really had much of a chance since he has been there. He needs game time and if you give Lambert the chances, he will take them."

In six substitute appearances and one start, the former Southampton star has still not opened his goalscoring account at Anfield.

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