October: The Make Or Break Month For Liverpool's Title Aspirations

Nabeel KhokharCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2009

FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Liverpool head coach Rafael Benitez holds a press conference before his teams training session prior to the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Fiorentina and Liverpool at the Stadio Artemio Franchi stadium on September 28, 2009 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tomorrow at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool face the toughest challenge in their pursuit of the League title this season.

In August, when the scheduling computer threw out the fixtures, fans did not really see any games that would have presented the men from Merseyside with too many problems.

In the first month, the away game at Bolton may have been the one where Rafa might have been happy to take a draw. 

And an opening day match away to Spurs might have been a potential problem.

But still fans and players would not have expected to come way from these two games with no points at all.

The past may well be the past, and the future merely hopes, but from the evidence of the final weeks of last season and their aspirations of being champions, both these games should have been ones in which the Reds would have been expected to take some points.

A less than promising preseason did not help the clubs preparations. But if one wants to be considered serious title challengers then points from these type games are vital.

The real kick in the teeth for Rafa and his men was, however, the loss at home to Aston Villa. This defeat at Anfield was a crushing blow.

Liverpool have an impressive record against the team from Britain's second city and were not expected to taint that record. But tainted it became, as Liverpool fell to a defeat that was like a body blow in a boxing bout. 

A visit to Bolton would not have been too high up the list of games that Rafa would have preferred following the Villa defeat. But credit to the Reds, they battled to a good away victory at a ground where they are never too comfortable.

However, if you want to be considered seriously as challengers then, even visits to Bolton should be games where a result is paramount.

So although a battling win at the Reebok was an impressive win notched in the away games box, the loss of the points against Villa were still felt.

September was a great month with three wins from three games, 13 goals for and three against. A good month, but when the opposition is viewed maybe nothing less than what was achieved, should have been expected.

Matches against Burnley, West Ham and Hull, home or away, for title contenders should yield nine points. So September although a good month, was nothing less than what it should have been.

October, however, may well be the month that defines whether Liverpool will challenge for the title or whether they will be battling for a Champions League place come next May.

Starting tomorrow, with the away game against Chelsea, this month also sees Manchester United come to Anfield.

To face two of the 'Big Four' sides in one calendar month makes this month Liverpool's most crucial.

This will not occur again this season, not in the Premier League anyway, and its importance can not be underestimated.

To say that this month is the make or break month of Liverpool's 2009-10 season is by no means an understatement. Two more poor results in October would be a major blow to their title aspirations regardless of the opposition, but losses to two main rivals for the title could well prove disastrous.

Any league matches against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal represent potential six-point swings. 

Although Rafa's prediction that this year's title race could be the most competitive in years, with the "lesser teams" predicted to take more points off the "Big Four" than in previous seasons proving to be correct so far, in the end the games between Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal will be where the title will be won and lost.

Coming into the month Liverpool are a healthy third and only three points behind the leaders (it is clear what impact that defeat at home to Villa really has had, is it not?)

The Reds will need to reproduce the form that they displayed last season against their main rivals, particularly this month, if they are to remain in the title race come the end of October.


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