Liverpool FC: 10 Games the Reds Must Win to Make the Top Four in 2011-12
Liverpool are preparing for one of their biggest seasons in the past decade or so, it's a fresh start, with a new manager, new coaching staff, new exciting players and a new ownership group. This season is the perfect opportunity to reestablish Liverpool Football Club to what it should be, one of the best clubs in Europe.
And the only way to do that, is to finish in the top four of the EPL and therefore qualify for Europe's finest cup competition, the UEFA Champions League.
Here are 10 games the Reds Must Win to Make the Top Four in 2011-12:
Liverpool vs Sunderland: 13 August 2011
The first game of the season is always an important one—it sets the standards for the rest of the season. A good win can give a nice confidence boost to the squad, but a loss could mean the loss of morale and the potential for a terrible start to the season.
Against a team like Sunderland, a win should be no hard task, but its crucial to keep complacency at bay and get a solid three points to start the season, something we haven't done for two seasons now.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Sunderland
Tottenham vs Liverpool: 17 September 2011 and 4 February 2012
If Liverpool are to make the top four, they desperately need to take points off Tottenham, without doing so the Reds could find themselves in big trouble come the end of the season.
Last season, Harry Redknapp's team managed to do the double over Liverpool, six points that inevitably made the difference between the two teams. If the Merseysider's can turn the tide, they will put themselves in a good position to finish in the top four.
Prediction: 17 September 2011: Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool, 4 February 2012: Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham
Everton vs Liverpool: 1 October 2011
There's nothing better than a big win in the Merseyside derby to lift the confidence of the club. And for that reason, winning this game is crucial to Liverpool's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
The game comes in a busy period for the Reds, as they prepare to host reigning champions, Manchester United two weeks later.
Prediction: Everton 0-2 Liverpool
Liverpool vs Manchester Utd: 15 October 2011 and 11 February 2012
There's no debating it, this is always a massive game, but this time there's so much more to play for.
If Liverpool can overcome United, while Tottenham, Manchester City and the like fail, the Reds will be in an excellent position to steal fourth place or even higher. It wont be easy though, but if they can play like they did in their last meeting with the Red Devils a win would be very likely.
Prediction: 15 October 2011: Liverpool 3-2 Man United, 11 February 2012: Man United 2-2 Liverpool
Liverpool vs Norwich City: October 22, 2011
It's a well known fact that Liverpool struggle against the smaller clubs; last season the Reds loss twice to Blackpool, lost to Wolves at Anfield and were held to a draw by Wigan.
For success to be achieved this season, this habit has to change and the Merseysiders do not just have to win, they have to win by big margins in order to keep their goal difference up.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Norwich City
Liverpool vs Manchester City: 26 November 2011 and 2 January 2012
As with Spurs, if Liverpool can take points off Manchester City their task of finishing in the top four will become a lot easier.
Last season, City finished third in front of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool but failed to defeat Kenny Dalglish's side when they visited Anfield. In fact, they were totally dominated by the Reds who managed a three-goal win over the Citizens.
If Liverpool can repeat that feat, it could be a very important moment in their season.
Prediction: 26 November 2011: Liverpool 2-0 Man City, 2 January 2012: Man City 1-1 Liverpool
Liverpool vs Arsenal: 3 March 2012
Last season was one of the most disappointing campaigns in a number of years for Arsene Wenger's men—they went from nearly winning the title to barely finishing in the top four in what was a crazy end to the season at the Emirates.
With that in mind, you would have to say that Arsenal are now competitors with Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham to claim a place in the top four. For that reason, beating the Gunners would be of great importance to Liverpool's season.
And with the drama that unfolded in their last meeting, you can expect a chaotic and passionate game with an amazing atmosphere.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Arsenal