10 Most Important Matches for Liverpool This Season
Liverpool have been awfully busy in the transfer window to get the club back into challenging for trophies, into the top 4 and back to Europe, especially in the Champions League.
Of course, every fixture is important and the key for success for any team. But there are some fixtures that might be considered more important and crucial to determine how a team will finish and where will they be placed by the end of the season.
In this article, I'll list 10 fixtures that I think will be important for Liverpool this season.
Everton: Home and Away
October 1, 2011: Away at Goodison Park
February 25, 2012: Home at Anfield
Everton have started their season well and can definitely have a say in their rival's top four chances. Despite their departures, Everton still have a solid squad and a great manager in David Moyes. They are still unbeaten thus far.
Everton have a good record in the past few years over their rivals and Liverpool must take this match seriously, not only for pride, but also to better their chances of Champions League qualification.
Manchester City: Home and Away
November 29, 2011: Home at Anfield
January 2, 2012: Away at Etihad Stadium
One of the top challengers for the Premier League title is big money spenders, Manchester City. This summer, the club brought in two top players in the form of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri.
They have had an excellent start to the season with four wins and a draw in the first five games of the season. They've been in blistering form in front of goal and will definitely be serious challengers for the Reds.
The reason I picked both these fixtures and not just the home match, is because both dates come at important times during the season.
The first match will show if the Reds have the quality to defeat one of the big contenders and make a serious challenge for the title, or at least the top four.
The second match will be held during the tough and crucial winter period, where Liverpool will have a number of matches against tough opponents.
The Reds will face eight different teams in the Premier League during the December/ January period as well as domestic cup fixtures. This will show if the team has the character and the sustainability to pull through this period.
March 3, 2012: Home at Anfield
After the team defeated the Gunners away at the Emirates Stadium, the Reds should be confident in winning this fixture and prove their credentials for the top four.
Arsenal are definitely going to be challengers for the top four. This match will be a crucial fixture which Liverpool must win since it will be in front of their home crowd. They have no option but to win this match.
February 4, 2012: Home at Anfield
Tottenham inflicted a stunning and humiliating defeat on the Reds at White Hart Lane, sending a warning that they'll challenge for the top four this season.
This home fixture will be of high importance for the Reds, not only to avenge the humiliating defeat, but also for their chances of ending their season in the top four.
January 14, 2012: Home at Anfield
Stoke City have been the surprise of the season so far, standing in fifth place. Many journalists and pundits predict that Stoke City can launch a serious challenge for a top four this season.
This means that this fixture could be of huge importance come February 4. Liverpool must not underestimate their opponents, even if they're playing at home.
Stoke City have proven ever since their promotion that they can hurt and cause problems for the top sides. This season they'll be even stronger, so this fixture could be crucial for Liverpool's chances of a top four finish.
Manchester United: Home
October 15, 2011: Home at Anfield
This highly anticipated and upcoming fixture will be important for the Reds not only for rivalry purposes, but also to prove their credentials for a top four finish.
They'll be facing the best side so far in the Premier League in Manchester United. The Red Devils have been in scintillating form, scoring a stunning 21 goals in their five matches so far in the league.
Wayne Rooney has been arguably the best player so far so this match will be a tough for Liverpool.
If Liverpool wins this, they will prove that they can launch a serious challenge for a top four finish and maybe even a challenge for the title.
Liverpool need to take advantage of their best chance to defeat the Red Devils, as it will be in front of their home crowd.
March 31, 2012: Away at St. James Park
Newcastle have had a decent, unbeaten start to the season and currently lie in fourth in the Premier League table.
Newcastle could prove to be another challenger for a top four spot if they continue with their solid start and. This match could prove to be crucial for Liverpool's top four chances. Liverpool have the quality to win this fixture, even away from home in a difficult stadium.
May 5, 2012: Home at Anfield
The final match of the season could be the most important match for Liverpool. A match against rivals, Chelsea, who are definite top four and title challengers at Anfield, could be the most crucial for the Reds in their goal for a top four finish and return to Champions League football.
This is a must-win match, especially as it will be held at home in front of the fans and against a big challenger.
The Champions League..... what Liverpool want to be in and compete for next season
Despite my opinion that these 10 fixtures could prove to be the most crucial for Liverpool this season, it doesn't mean that the team must stay consistent and take every match seriously.
It's a long season and every match is important and shouldn't be underestimated.
Liverpool are a great club who deserve to be in the top European competition and challenge for titles. They must prove that they can achieve that this season, not only because of their illustrious history, but also because of their devoted fans.
Other fixtures that could prove to be crucial:
Away Matches Against Chelsea and Manchester United
Chelsea: November 19, 2011
Manchester United: January 2, 2012
Home & Away vs Aston Villa, who also have had a solid start to the season.
Away at Villa Park: December 17, 2011
Home at Anfield: April 7, 2012
Away to Sunderland: March 10, 2012
The December Fixtures
December 3, 2011: Away to Fulham
December 10, 2011: At home against QPR
December 17, 2011: The aforementioned fixture against Aston Villa
December 20, 2011: Away to Wigan
December 31, 2011: At home to Newcastle
What do you think are going to be Liverpool's most crucial matches this season?