Sunday’s Premier League encounter between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur ended in a wild 2-2 draw at Anfield. After the blow of the final whistle, it was contentment for Mauricio Pochettino but despair for Jurgen Klopp, who expressed his frustration over the late penalty handed to the visitors.
The Liverpool manager appeared to make his feelings clear to referee Jon Moss, immediately after the final whistle and was left aggrieved. However, there was nothing he could do other than just speak.
The Reds could do a hell lot in the upcoming games, with Champions League football returning this month. Klopp’s men are having a great season, limited by the points they have dropped to teams in the bottom half of the table.
Let us analyse our next five fixtures across all competitions.
Southampton have been terrible this season and are currently embroiled in the battle against relegation. Mauricio Pellegrino was expected to make the team stronger defensively as well as offensively but the Argentine has struggled to impose his tactics. His team has been poor, especially at home, and that would help Liverpool’s cause, who travel to St.Mary’s on Sunday.
When the Saints came to Anfield, Liverpool battered them by scoring three goals. Given the form that we are in and with Mohamed Salah turning tables upside down week in week out, expect us to get the job done handsomely at Southampton.
Enter the Champions League round of 16! We first travel to Porto on February 15 before hosting them on March 7.
Speaking about Porto, they are unbeaten in the league this season and are at the top of the table with 52 points. The Portuguese giants have steamrolled teams at times with ease, and have performed exceedingly well under manager Sergio Conceicao.
Liverpool indeed have an uphill task at their hands in the Champions League. If we can nick an away goal, which would be very tough, we can hope to get the job done at home.
An exciting battle awaits!
West Ham looks like a re-invigorated side under David Moyes, who has saved the sinking ship since taking over from Slaven Bilic on November 7, 2017. It took a bit of time for Moyes to impose his philosophy on the team but when the group understood it, they started playing better and effective football.
But I don’t expect the Hammers to come to Anfield and play the same brand of football. Yes, they stopped Manchester City to a certain extent before losing to them; but I don’t see them getting a positive result at Anfield.
Liverpool, who get a break after the Porto clash, host West Ham on February 24. Hoping for something similar to the result we achieved at the London stadium.
Rafa Benitez returns to Anfield on March 3. Newcastle, just like Southampton, are one of the many teams stuck in a fight to stay up in the Premier League. Although I expect Rafa to save the Magpies from relegation, he won’t have much joy when he returns to Anfield next month.
I see Liverpool attackers running riot against Newcastle if the visitors allow space to our players.
Liverpool v Porto
Ideally, I view the Newcastle game as a chance to flex our muscles before hosting Porto on March 7.
From the minute 1, we have to take the game to the Portuguese club, irrespective of the first-leg result. We cannot be complacent at home, even for a minute, and given this is a Champions League tie, I expect the decibel levels to be at its peak.
It is tough to predict an outcome but I stress again; if we succeed in taking a valuable away goal and not concede in Portugal, there is every chance to be optimistic for the return leg.