Liverpool have started this year’s Premier League season with what must be considered, for even the most optimistic Reds fan, unexpected success. Four wins out of a possible four have seen Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table and into the next round of the League cup.
Optimism is in heavy supply and results in heavy demand. It remains to be seen how Liverpool cope with the challenges the remainder of the season has to offer, but here are my predictions.
Liverpool's next Premier League game sees the Reds travel to Wales to face Swansea, who currently occupy 16th place in the Premier League table. However, the table isn't anything to go by at this stage (painful to admit as it is) and Michael Laudrup's side poses a great threat.
I expect Liverpool and Swansea to play an attractive game of football, but for Liverpool to be held to a draw by the Welsh outfit. A draw away at Swansea is not a bad result, however, and would not see Liverpool drop lower down than second place.
With Liverpool having scored just three league goals thus far, I expect the Reds to to come close to doubling their league tally when they play host to Southampton on 21 September.
Stoke were fortunate to come away from Anfield with just one goal conceded, but sooner or later things have got to go right for the Reds offensively. The next home game may well be that time.
I think Liverpool will hit three or four past Southampton, doubling, or coming close to doubling, their whole League tally.
(Note: doubling depends on amount of goals scored against Swansea).
Luis Suarez will almost definitely feature when Manchester United and Liverpool clash once again in the next round of the League Cup. Unfortunately for the Uruguayan, I expect his first appearance to end in disappointment. Though Liverpool have already defeated United once this season, the performance was far from convincing and a draw, in my opinion, would've been the fair result.
At Old Trafford, United (and particularly David Moyes) will be looking to dress the wounds Liverpool inflicted on the red side of Manchester. I expect them to do so.
it will be another close encounter, maybe even extra-time, but I believe United will edge Liverpool and send them crashing out of the cup.
I expect Liverpool to benefit from the lack of any distractions from their league program, and enter the new year in the top four. Liverpool have a workable fixture list, which they will look to exploit.
The Reds face Southampton, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Fulham, Norwich, West Ham and Cardiff at home and will look to take maximum points from all those fixtures. Away from home Liverpool must negotiate with Newcastle, before tricky fixtures against Everton, Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Away days are tough, but with the extra depth in defence and Luis Suarez returning, Liverpool don't need to fear anyone. I predict that Liverpool will finish the calendar year in the Champions League spots, and will end the season there, too.