Liverpool Predictions, Players to Watch Before Final International Break of 2019

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates with Roberto Firmino after scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Liverpool FC and RB Salzburg at Anfield on October 02, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool will face the toughest stretch of their schedule yet ahead of the next international break in November, a set of seven matches that will have a major influence on both their UEFA Champions League and Premier League campaigns.

Starting with a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and ending with a clash against defending English champions Manchester City, the schedule is packed with top-level opposition and tricky European engagements.

Here is a look at the upcoming schedule, complete with predictions.

October 20: Manchester United vs. Liverpool, Premier League (0-2)

October 23: Genk vs. Liverpool, Champions League (1-3)

October 27: Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League (2-1)

October 30: Liverpool vs. Arsenal, Carabao Cup (1-2)

November 2: Aston Villa vs. Liverpool, Premier League (0-3)

November 5: Liverpool vs. Genk, Champions League (2-0)

November 10: Liverpool vs. Manchester City, Premier League (1-1)

   

Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk isn't the only reason Liverpool have the Premier League's best defence, but there's little doubt he's a major factor.

The reliable Netherlands international has started all eight Premier League outings so far and didn't miss a single match in the competition last season. He's the team's defensive rock and the main communicator along the back line, and on top of that, he's capable of contributing further up the pitch:

Van Dijk might be the best defensive player in the world right now, and the Reds will need him during arguably their toughest stretch of the season. With the exception of the Carabao Cup match against Arsenal, he's likely to play every single minute of every match, barring injury or suspension.

   

Alisson Becker

The Reds confirmed earlier this month star goalkeeper Alisson has returned to training, and according to the latest reports, he's doing everything in his power to be fit in time for the match against United:

Like Van Dijk, Alisson is in the conversation of the best players in the world at his position, and while deputy Adrian has been an admirable replacement, the Spaniard has also shown he can't match the former AS Roma man in goal.

Leicester City's equaliser in the last match before the international break likely wouldn't have found the net if Alisson had been in goal, and the Reds have also missed his ability to distribute the ball, a key part of their attacking plan.

His return will be a major boost for a team that is already flying high.

   

Sadio Mane

Liverpool's Premier League top scorer has been the most consistent of their three star forwards so far.

Not only has he done a fine job of spreading out his goals, but he also has a knack for scoring in key moments. Against both Red Bull Salzburg and Leicester, his goals ended up contributing to one-score wins, and he went into the international break on a high.

Attacking depth remains limited behind the trio of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri have talent, but they can't match the raw output of the leading trio.

With little time to rest in between top matches in the coming weeks, their form and health will likely be a key talking point before the next break.

Related

    Report: Mourinho Back on Madrid's Radar

    Zidane is 'entering must-win territory' and 'has lost the trust of certain board members'

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Report: Mourinho Back on Madrid's Radar

    Goal
    via Goal

    How Atleti's Drastic Rebuild Has Left Simeone Stumbling

    Rojiblancos have won one of their past six games in La Liga

    World Football logo
    World Football

    How Atleti's Drastic Rebuild Has Left Simeone Stumbling

    The Independent
    via The Independent

    Klopp Hails Reds' Subs vs. Man Utd

    Liverpool logo
    Liverpool

    Klopp Hails Reds' Subs vs. Man Utd

    Jack Lusby
    via This Is Anfield

    Champions League MD3 Preview 🏆

    Man City and Liverpool to enjoy big wins?

    Liverpool logo
    Liverpool

    Champions League MD3 Preview 🏆

    James Dudko
    via Bleacher Report