Is Premier League top spot achievable for Klopp’s Liverpool?
Matt Haynes | November 30, 2015
Resilient Reds can reach for top
Liverpool are perfectly primed for an assault on the Premier League top four with Arsenal and Tottenham among the clubs challenging, however, they are now just six points off first place Manchester City with the Reds great value at 16/1 with Coral to win the title.
It has been an interesting transition under Jurgen Klopp since the German took over from Brendan Rodgers. While he didn’t make any drastic changes to the team, he instilled a new confidence in the players, engendering a team spirit, which soon saw them become hard to beat.
Away from home became their chance to impress, with the pressure off and acclimatising to life under a new manager. Evidenced with their thrilling 3-1 win over Chelsea and a 4-1 thumping of Manchester City.
Klopp quietly steered them into a position in the Europa League, securing qualification to the latter stages of the competition, with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bordeaux.
Anfield to become fortress
Despite an uncharacteristic 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace recently, Liverpool have now won two on the spin at Anfield. While away from home their playing style seems more fluid and open, with ample opportunities on the counter-attack, it is when playing the hosts that they struggle to break teams down.
Perhaps accidentally, Klopp has found a plan b. Summer signing Christian Benteke has proved particularly effective at home, providing a great target in the penalty area, which has been the difference.
Against Swansea last time out, it was evident that Klopp has worked on strengthening the side’s defence and centre back Dejan Lovren paid tribute to the Reds’ victory against the Swans in tough conditions.
“It was a tough game, especially playing against the wind,” Lovren said. “It wasn’t so easy but at the end the most important thing is that we got the three points.
“We’re moving higher in the table. It was a great week for us – winning against Manchester City, Bordeaux and now this one. We just need to keep working hard and to be patient. We expected a tough game against an opponent having problems. It was a deserved win.
“We showed our quality in defence and up front also. The most important thing is to keep the winning mentality. We’re doing a great job all together and we can be proud.”
First place on the cards?
If the Reds are around the top four at the end of December and the summit is still in sight, Liverpool will be confident that they can achieve anything, especially with a manager who can work wonders with a players’ self-esteem.
Should Roberto Firmino continue to get better, he can in time become a world class talent, a similar way that Luis Suarez did.
Klopp will no doubt have been planning for the January transfer window. He will know that if the club are in a position to challenge by January, that any additions can strengthen their case.
Whatever happens, though it has certainly been some turnaround.
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