2017 has seen Liverpool’s season unravel in spectacular fashion.
Over the course of the last ten games (of which they have won just one), Jurgen Klopp’s side have crashed out of two cup competitions and seen their title aspirations become a battle t0 break back into the top four.
However, a hint of a silver lining for Klopp is that the congested fixture schedule of January has now given way to a much sparser run between now and the end of the end of the season, which will give his thin squad more time to prepare in between fixtures.
This, according to Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, will be hugely significant in Liverpool’s pursuit of a Champions League place – and the former Manchester United defender fully expects them to take advantage.
“The minute that that squad hit three games a week, with the way that they play, was always going to hurt them. You cannot play that way three times a week.
“When you are leaving six players back at base, it causes disruption, it disrupts the squad and the squad isn’t good enough.
“Liverpool will get stronger as the season goes on. Now they are out of the cups, they are back to that period where they will have a week between games, and that is when they get can get their energy up and become devastating.”
The much-heralded return of Sadio Mané to the starting lineup at Hull last weekend did not have the desired effect as they fell to a hugely disappointing 2-0 defeat to the Tigers, but with the side pretty much at full strength now Liverpool and Klopp will be determined to end the season in the top four.
In the meantime, they face Tottenham on Saturday in a bid to finally bring a halt to their horrendous run of form.