With the 2022 Qatar World Cup underway, the Premier League campaign has come to a six-week halt while some players compete for their countries.
For Jurgen Klopp’s men, the World Cup has probably come at the worst possible time, after piecing together four wins in their last four in all competitions. Instead, a warm weather training camp in Dubai will be welcomed by the Reds boss.
Just seven Liverpool players will be away in Qatar – which is a relatively low number for a team of their quality. Klopp and the training staff will be hoping to use the break to recuperate and prepare the rest of the squad for when the domestic campaign resumes later in December.
The unprecedented break for a winter World Cup has provided the perfect time to assess Liverpool’s 2022/23 season so far.
Disappointing Dropped Points
Winning the Community Shield seemed to be the perfect platform for Liverpool’s 2022/23 campaign after a putting on a dominant display against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
Since then, Klopp’s side have struggled to put together some form until recent weeks after getting off to a rollercoaster start. The Reds have been dealt four losses in the league already this season, with two of those coming against historic rivals and fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.
Draws which have been Liverpool’s kryptonite in seasons gone by, have seemingly already dampened any aspirations of the club making it a 20th league title this season. This seems bizarre to say when it’s only November, but Klopp and his men know more than anyone that there’s no room for error to keep up the pace at the top.
Top four-chasing Liverpool will be hoping that the points they have dropped to Fulham, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Everton will not come back to haunt them as it is vital they play Champions League football next season.
Big League Wins
Despite Liverpool seemingly not involved in the title picture this time round, they have shown in glimpses why they are more than worthy of belonging in and around the top of the league with some statement victories.
With Man City and Newcastle United in fine form, Liverpool handed both their first defeat of the season. A dramatic 98th minute winner from Fabio Carvalho sent Anfield into pandemonium, which saw Klopp’s men run out 2-1 winners over Eddie Howe’s side.
Liverpool vs Man City – a fixture between two gargantuan sides which usually favours the home team was not the case going into the match. A relentless City travelled to Merseyside as favourites, but they were ultimately squashed in a game where they had very few clear-cut chances. A cool finish from Mohamed Salah proved the difference.
All in on the Cups
The main positive from Liverpool’s start to the season is progressing to the knockout stages of the Champions League. The 2022/23 European campaign got off to the worst possible start after the Reds were handed a 4-1 thrashing by eventual Group A winners, Napoli.
However, Liverpool dusted off the cobwebs and finished the group in style after winning both their games over Rangers and Ajax. The Reds then rounded off the group stages with a 2-0 victory over Napoli at Anfield.
Liverpool will be looking for revenge in what will be a repeat of last year’s Champions League final, as they will face Real Madrid in the knockout stage.
Liverpool also sealed their place in the next round of the Carabao Cup, thanks to goalkeeping heroics from, Caoimhin Kelleher. The Irish international helped a heavily rotated Liverpool team beat League One outfit Derby County 3-2 in a penalty shootout.
Since arriving in 2018 from AS Roma, Alisson Becker has been nothing short of phenomenal for Liverpool and this season he is showing exactly why he is the most expensive goalkeeper ever.
From his goalkeeping to his kicking and distribution, the Brazilian international has got it all.
Considering Liverpool have only managed to keep four clean sheet this season, it would be unfair to point the finger at the 30-year-old, with the Reds backline looking unconvincing in various games over the past few months.
Alisson goes into the World Cup full of confidence after displaying a goalkeeping masterclass at home to Southampton. Standout saves were made by the Brazilian to keep out Samuel Edozie and Che Adams to see out a 3-1 win for the hosts.