If Liverpool is going to reach top four now it´s the time to build a foundation for that specific challenge. The next six matches in the league are all winnable and the Reds need at least 15 points, probably more, from them to be contenders for fourth. If we fail then hope is gone as eight much harder fixtures awaits.
The promising performance against Arsenal has raised hopes in Liverpool quarters. After a despairing time belief is back. And if the optimism is going to materialise into something solid then Liverpool must act immediately. And a fine possibility has appeared named a favourable schedule. The next six league fixtures, from Boxing Day to the 31st of January, are matches where a Liverpool in form can gain both a lot of points and territory in the table.
This is the forthcoming programme: Burnley away, Swansea home, Leicester home, Sunderland away, Aston Villa away, West Ham home. None of the games are of course easy but Liverpool is normally a better side than all six opponents. But to think the Liverpool of today can notch up six wins on the bounce is to believe too much. There is always a banana skin waiting somewhere. But this is the chance, perhaps there be no other this season, to really muster a top four challenge.
First up is newcomers Burnley presently placed in the relegation zone. They have upped their game a bit recently and not lost at home in four games so it´s gonna be a battle but Liverpool should be able to come out on top. Then Swansea visits Anfield, always a tough tie. The Reds has had the upper hand recently beating the Swans inte last two matches at L4. Number three is a distinct possibility even if Swansea at the moment is higher up in the table than Liverpool. On New Years Day newcomers Leicester, right now at the bottom of the table, visits Liverpool. We beat them away not long ago and this is on paper the easist match of the six and should end with a comfortable home triumph.
The year of 2015 starts with two away fixtures. At Sunderland we´ve had mixed fortunes in recent years. The last six results contains three wins and three defeats. The Black Cats are draw specialists this season and it will take a first-rate display to turn back home with three points. But doable. A week later we travel to Aston Villa where we have three wins on the trot. After beating Liverpool in September the Midlanders lost six on the spin but they have improved considerably since only losing once in the last seven. Liverpool is out for revenge for the Anfield defeat and aims to extend the winning run at Villa Park. Villa is goal-shy so the Reds ought to manage a positive result.
Last outing in the six-match sequence is high-flyers West Ham currently in fourth place. The Londoners have punched above their weight this season and sooner than later they are going to slide down the table a bit. Liverpool lost the away fixture but at Anfield West Ham is almost always downed. The Reds has clocked up 42 games in a row without defeat against them and Hammers last win at L4 came in the stone age, or 1963. No matter where West Ham is placed in the table this is a match Liverpool should, must, can and will win.
Liverpool could be the winners in all six matches but I´ll settle for 15 points. If we grab less then it´s definitely good-bye to top four. Because we need to be close or in top four when the next eight fixtures comes along. They are really tricky tests. From the 7th of February to the 4th of April the schedule looks like this: Everton away, Tottenham home, Southampton away, Manchester City home, Burnley home, Swansea away, Manchester United home and Arsenal away.
So now it´s imperative that the Liverpool players talking the talk also walking the walk. In other words:
We Go Again.