After another confidence-boosting win at the Hawthorns on Sunday, Dave Davis explains why there is plenty cause for optimism at this stage of the season.
Rewind to just before the Derby and there were slight worries about what was on the horizon for Liverpool. Key players were missing, tough fixtures were looming and our rivals appeared to be getting ever closer.
After this weekend’s result and recent performances though, there should be a natural feeling of positivity around the club.
Liverpool have come away with six points from two fixtures that any team would find tough. There won’t be many teams who go to Stoke and/or West Brom and come away with the spoils.
For a team that’s been criticised for its lack of squad depth, the Reds were missing their top scorer in Mané, their captain in Henderson and a top England international in Lallana. Take the equivalent of those players out of our rivals’ sides and they may find themselves struggling.
There’s real character being shown right now and Klopp’s men are proving they’ve got the stomach for the fight.
The resurgence in form of many first-team players has come at the right time too. Firmino and Coutinho look to be back to their best and are proving our match-winners just now. Lucas appears to be enjoying an Indian summer late in his Reds career and Emre Can is unrecognisable from a few months ago.
Lucas appears to be enjoying an Indian summer late in his Reds career and Emre Can is unrecognisable from a few months ago.
He’s taken a lot of criticism in react times which has been justified, but Simon Mingolet is in fantastic form and deserves all plaudits coming his way. The Belgian keeper played as big a part as anyone in securing our most recent victories.
Palace are next up and whilst they are in a relegation battle, there are obvious issues for them. The main one being that their key defender right now actually belongs to us and Sakho will be a huge miss for them.
Throw in the fact Scott Dann and James Tomkins could miss the game through injury and they look drastically short at the back. Former-Red Martin Kelly partnered Sakho against Leicester and they could have another non-specialist at the back at this rate.
The likes of Benteke and Zaha will still be a danger and they beat Chelsea away, but you would fancy us against a depleted back-line.
There’s a long way to go still with plenty of twists and turns left, but our rivals aren’t without their own challenges in the coming weeks.
Liverpool look like they can grind it out now as results render performance pretty irrelevant at this stage of the season. With six more points in the league than our total last season too, there’s plenty of reason for positivity right now.