The 2012/2013 Premier League season hopefully will live up to expectations after this thrilling past season.
Liverpool kicks its campaign off on August 18 against West Brom, a team that the Reds struggled against last year.
New boss Brendan Rodgers will need to impress in these first five games and find a way to make a positive impression on the Anfield faithful. Getting a result each of the first five games would go a long way toward winning over the fans.
At any rate, the rest of the schedule is packed full of important games for Liverpool. Here are six must-win games for Liverpool in the upcoming season.
Let's do it.
The opening day fixture is always one of the most important games on the schedule, and for Brendan Rodgers, it gives the new manager a chance to showcase his managerial skills for Liverpool fans.
If Liverpool can win the opening game away from home, against a team they split the series with last season, it would go a long way toward building trust between Brendan Rodgers, the management and the fans.
Liverpool and title holders Manchester City became well-acquainted last season, meeting four times. Liverpool held their own against the uber-rich club, only losing once (a 3-0 defeat) and knocking the Citizens out of the Carling Cup.
Liverpool will need the win against West Brom for the momentum to shift to Anfield, where the Kop will shake as Brendan Rodgers manages his first game in front of the home fans.
It will be one of the most exciting matches of the season.
Newcastle was the pleasant surprise of last season, vying for a European spot for the majority of the season.
Home-pitch advantage will be a factor in this one, and assuming the Reds come away with the derby win, the win against Newcastle would provide a huge boost in confidence heading to Stamford Bridge.
Hopefully, Liverpool will be in the title race at this point in the season, and this clash against Tottenham could be a pivotal moment in the season.
It remains to be seen how Tottenham will go about business without Harry Redknapp (and most likely, Luka Modric), but if they remain in the top five of the table, this game could be make-or-break for either team.
Tottenham embarrassed the Reds last season with a 4-0 drubbing, so if Liverpool doesn't avenge the loss earlier in the season (November 27th), expect them to come out guns blazing.
Again, if Liverpool can maintain momentum throughout the whole season, this game could be pivotal.
Chelsea will be much better this time around, with Fernando Torres looking like he's returning to form and the acquisition of Eden Hazard, so Liverpool will have to be in top form for this one.
Gotta love derby days.
I love how late in the season this derby is, since it could have major implications on Liverpool's 2013/2014 season.
If Brendan Rodgers steers Liverpool toward a top-five finish, the Merseyside derby could make or break Liverpool's European hopes.
If Liverpool is hovering at fifth/sixth, a win in the derby, coupled with wins in the last two games of the season against Fulham and QPR, could propel them into a Champions League spot—another Europa League spot at the very least.
The derby is fun to watch regardless, but if a lot is riding on this game, excitement increases tenfold.
Every game is a must-win game—what are your picks for must-win games for the Reds?
YNWA, and cheers!