Liverpool can breathe a little easy after a hectic schedule which saw us face Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain.
The Reds had some highs and lows and thankfully, we are still unbeaten in the Premier League and tied at the top.
However, losing in the Carabao Cup (Chelsea) and Champions League (Napoli) took the sheen off our start to the season.
Our front three aren’t firing on all cylinders. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah aren’t scoring for fun and Jurgen Klopp has to look into this.
Fortunately, our defence has been rock-solid incredible. We have only conceded three goals in the Premier League this season and haven’t looked shaky at all!
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Alisson have all been excellent while Dejan Lovren was brilliant against Manchester City at the weekend.
The Croatian hadn’t played any Premier League football prior to the City clash but looked great.
Klopp has a lot of things going for him, and our next stretch of games will certainly test our title credentials.
Time to rotate the boys and give them time on the pitch
From our four summer signings, only Alisson is a sure shot starter. Naby Keita has just four Premier League starts, Xherdan Shaqiri has one while Fabinho has played 15 minutes of Champions League football (and has a start in the league cup) this season.
Our players have looked a little jaded, especially the games against Napoli and Manchester City. Klopp might want to start with the best XI always but some players need a break.
Shaqiri has looked brilliant every time he has been on the pitch, and it is a surprise why he hasn’t played games either as an attacking midfielder or in place of Salah/Mane.
Similarly, Keita needs more time on the pitch to link up with the attackers. Fabinho can be excused as he is still looking a little slow and might need work in the coming weeks.
Our midfield doesn’t have the bite it did at the start of the season. We cannot play James Milner in every game due to his age, and now he has a hamstring injury too. Similarly, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum need some rest.
A forgiving schedule for the Reds
Fortunately for Klopp, the fixtures are a little forgiving in the coming month or so:
Red Star Belgrade (Home-CL)
Cardiff City (Home-PL)
Red Star Belgrade (Away-CL)
Liverpool need to ensure maximum points from the upcoming fixtures as we failed to beat City and Chelsea in the league.
Our Champions League group isn’t easy and we cannot take Red Star lightly. Napoli couldn’t defeat the Serbians in their tie earlier.
Sturridge, Keita, Shaqiri and Lovren have to feature in the coming six games. We haven’t always had quality options as a back-up and now when we do, the manager isn’t playing them enough.
The fear is that our stars will be driven to the ground before we even reach the important bit of the season. Of course, it wouldn’t be easy to drop Salah, Mane, Firmino or even Virgil van Dijk from the team when they aren’t playing well.
But that is the job that Klopp has and he needs to swap things at the club if it isn’t working on the pitch.