Even though every EPL team is in the midst of a tough January full of games, one team stands out above the rest. Liverpool has had a stretch of games that no team would envy. From Boxing Day until January 26, 31 days, Liverpool will play 10 games total and have midweek games for an entire month.
During this 10 game stretch, Liverpool also just got done playing four consecutive away games. And even though it seemed as if Liverpool struggled, they got through that four game stretch with a 2-1-1 record even though they paid the price with injuries. This means at the halfway point of this 10 game stretch, Liverpool is 3-1-1. What does this mean as they enter two important home games in four days against Arsenal and Manchester United?
When it comes to Arsenal, we have learned that there are no “sure things” in this English Premier League season. Having said that, Arsenal is about the closest thing to a “sure thing” right now that you’re going to get. The league leaders, while having injury concerns of their own, still fielded a pretty competitive team against Sunderland. Liverpool on the other hand, were all but forced to play youngsters and players likely to be on the move against Exeter City because most of the team is out with injuries (mostly hamstrings). Arsenal is going to take all three points and there will be nothing Liverpool could do about that.
So if Liverpool wanted to get any points from these important games, they will have to do it against Manchester United. Liverpool may have a chance because while Manchester United is healthier, they are struggling to score. Man United showed that this past weekend in the FA Cup. They completely struggled against League One team Sheffield United and won late because of a penalty all while having most of their starters playing. But considering this is a derby match, conventional wisdom doesn’t apply here either. This could just as likely go 0-0 as it would a 4-1 blowout win for either side. Both teams seem like they are going to get a draw and keep up their top four hopes.
So there we go. Even though Liverpool’s performances haven’t really shown it, they are 3-1-1 through this stretch of 10 games in 31 days. These two games will bring Liverpool down to earth a bit but at the same time, won’t get too discouraged. And really, given that over half the team is injured, maybe a point among games against Arsenal and Manchester United is a pretty good result when it’s all said and done. I’m sure fans won’t like settling for a draw against a rival like Manchester United but these are obviously different circumstances.