Liverpool arrived back in Merseyside today after tasting UEFA Super Cup success but must immediately prepare for their Southampton clash on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds eventually overcame Chelsea to lift the Super Cup after 120 gruelling minutes in the Istanbul heat on Wednesday night. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties with Adrian the unlikely hero in the end.
However, Klopp and his team will have no time to rest on their laurels or celebrate the latest piece of silverware for the club. They travel to the south coast of England to play Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
After an extremely taxing summer, with stars like Roberto Firmino, Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané all enduring extended international commitments, Liverpool knew the start of 2019/20 was never going to be easy.
A 1-1 draw with Manchester City in the Community Shield led to a penalty shootout defeat at Wembley. The Reds then beat Norwich 4-1 five days later to kick-start the Premier League season. Then came the Chelsea encounter in Turkey and now, in less than 48 hours, Klopp’s side takes to the field again to play Southampton at St Mary’s.
There is some light at the end of this arduous tunnel for Liverpool. They don’t have another midweek fixture until the week of 17/18th September when the Group Stage of the Champions League gets underway.
Meaning that, after the Southampton match, there are at least six days between each of Liverpool’s games, and seven days between most, for the following four weeks.
There is the first international break of the season to contend with in early September but if those on duty return to Melwood injury-free then the Liverpool squad will be in a good place, fitness-wise. Add to that the expected return of Alisson in late September and things will really start to look up for Klopp’s team.
The main thing for Liverpool now is to take all three points from the Southampton game on Saturday. If they can do that, they will have come through a hectic start to the campaign in good nick, knowing they don’t have a midweek fixture again until mid-September.
There will be many more such tests along the way – such as a crazy month of football in December – in what promises to be an exciting but punishing season. Yet, they can only cross each bridge as they come to it. And they’re nearing safety on the far side of the first one.