Liverpool's Biggest Remaining Fixtures This Season
With back-to-back 2-2 away draws against two Premier League heavyweights Arsenal and Manchester City, Liverpool have come out of a challenging few days with two well-earned points that, on the run of play, could have been more.
But with the improvement shown in recent weeks, and with captain Steven Gerrard roaring back to form, Brendan Rodgers and his charges can look forward to the next few months and hope for a strong finish to the season.
Here are six of Liverpool’s biggest remaining fixtures this 2012-13 season.
February 17: Swansea City (Home)
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In less than two weeks, Liverpool face a strong benchmark of their progress, improvement and quality this season, when Brendan Rodgers welcomes his former team Swansea City, currently just one place below Liverpool in the league table, to Anfield.
Just this past October, Swansea knocked Liverpool out of the Capital One Cup with a convincing performance at the Liberty Stadium, a reflection of the work that Michael Laudrup has done in south Wales after taking over from Rodgers.
A confident Liverpool will look to make their own statement against a side with similar footballing philosophies, and Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to do one over his former team.
February 21: Zenit St. Petersburg (Home)
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Just four days after a pivotal match comes another, this time in the Europa League, the only trophy that Liverpool still have a realistic chance of winning this season.
While the first leg takes place before even the Swansea clash, it is the second leg at Anfield that always holds the key to the Reds’ progress in European competition.
With a host of prestigious names still competing in the Europa League, Liverpool would do well to advance as far as they can in a competition they might not qualify for next season.
Anfield is no stranger to all-important European games at home. February 21 could see the return of the famous “European night” atmosphere from the Kop.
March 10: Tottenham Hotspur (Home)
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At the time of writing, Tottenham Hotspur sit fourth in the Premier League table with 45 points, nine ahead of Liverpool in seventh.
With their rapid ascent towards the top end of the English footballing tree in recent seasons, Spurs have become a force to be reckoned with and a fierce rival to Liverpool for the European places.
By March 10, the complexion of the race for the European spots may well have changed, which may in turn make Spurs’ visit to Anfield one of the biggest games of the season.
April 20: Chelsea (Home)
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Who would’ve thought just over two years ago that a Chelsea visit to Anfield would feature not the return of one Liverpool legend, but two?
In Fernando Torres’ case, that will have been a thorn in many a Red’s heart for the best part of two seasons by mid-April, while Rafa Benitez’s future is still not secure after an unconvincing recent run of results at Stamford Bridge.
For the neutral observer, the reception that Benitez receives upon a (still only possible) return to Anfield will be an intriguing prospect.
For Liverpool supporters, it will be imperative that the new Reds put the memories of two pivotal figures in their recent history well and truly behind them, with the aid of three well-earned points.
April 27: Newcastle (Away)
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Liverpool-Newcastle is always a match that many Premier League fans look forward to on the fixture list, given the history of exciting clashes between two of English football’s most well-supported clubs.
A week after an important clash against Chelsea, Liverpool travel to St. James’ Park to take on a newly French-Geordie nation, who will be hoping that their new January recruits will have taken them up the table by then.
Equally, Brendan Rodgers will be looking to his own January signings, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, to have been fully gelled into his team by then.
Cue another high-scoring Premier League classic.
May 4: Everton (Home)
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Last but certainly not least on our list is that most famous of English football rivalries—the Merseyside Derby— and this season’s Anfield version will be held on May 4, the third-to-last Premier League fixture on Liverpool’s itinerary.
Currently, with 25 games played, Everton hold a six-point advantage over their cross-town rivals, but in 10 games, Liverpool will hope that the deficit has been reduced if not reversed.
This is a chance for Liverpool not only to regain the local bragging rights with a win, but to make a final push towards fourth place with all three points.
And after last season’s superhuman performance from Steven Gerrard in the same fixture, who could begrudge the Kop for getting their hopes up again?
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