IT’S amazing to think that with the January transfer window closing at 11pm, the Premier League has scheduled a round of fixtures for tonight and tomorrow.
But the show must go on and with that in mind, PREMIER LEAGUE WEEKLY is back to look ahead to tonight’s action, focusing on Liverpool’s trip to Huddersfield.
Can Liverpool get rid of their ‘typical Liverpool’ streak?
THERE is probably no more infuriating team in the Premier League than Liverpool. On their day, they are spellbinding and capable of fast and furious football that can sweep any team aside. Just ask Manchester City after the Reds ended their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with that enthralling 4-3 win at Anfield just over two weeks ago.
Optimism was abounding after that game that Liverpool were poised to strike. Not this season, but next with their fans, and manager Jurgen Klopp, swept along after such an emotional win. With league games to come at Swansea and Huddersfield and a home FA Cup tie against West Brom sandwiched in between, momentum, it seemed, would be easy to maintain.
Alas, here we are after a defeat in South Wales and an FA Cup exit and the mood has already changed. It is now 28 years since Liverpool were last Champions of England and in that type, what has happened in January this year has almost become ‘typical Liverpool’. There has been a European Cup triumph and another final and plenty of other domestic cups. They have beaten AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona in Europe, Manchester United and Arsenal in cup finals. But Liverpool have also lost at home to Barnsley, Watford and Wolves in the league and to the likes of Grimsby, Northampton and Oldham in cup competitions.
Liverpool are 18 points off the pace in the Premier League and already out of both cups, but they remain in the Champions League. In some ways, it’s more realistic to think that Klopp’s side could win a competition that doesn’t contain any banana skin opponents. Bayern Munich or Paris St Germain over two legs? No problem. Beating humdrum teams in humdrum games, that’s a lot more of a challenge.
Klopp has done lots of good things in his time in charge, but there is no silverware yet and no signs of ending this ‘typical Liverpool’ streak. Because to win the league, there are lots of matches that can be very forgettable, but victory in those carries the same value as thrilling triumphs over league leaders or big rivals. And it’s something that Liverpool have to learn.
Stat of the Day
59 – Huddersfield last beat Liverpool nearly 59 years ago on 28 November 1959 with a 1-0 victory in the old Second Division at Leeds Road. It also turned out to be the last match in charge for manager Bill Shankly, before he swapped West Yorkshire for Anfield. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Adam’s Tuesday predictions
HUDDERSFIELD 0 LIVERPOOL 3
LIVERPOOL badly need a win after their league loss at Swansea and FA Cup defeat to West Brom. But Huddersfield have not won any of their last six in the league and will do well to recreate their home win over Manchester United in October.
SWANSEA 1 ARSENAL 2
TWO better results for Arsenal have lifted the mood a little but this is a fixture they must win if they have aspirations of a top-four finish. Swansea did brilliantly to take three points off Liverpool but may come up short this time.
WEST HAM 0 CRYSTAL PALACE 1
TWO sides smarting from their last appearance. Crystal Palace were thumped at Arsenal, while West Ham were embarrassed by Wigan in the FA Cup, but with the Hammers’ severe injury problems, the Eagles may sense this is a great chance for an away win.
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