6 things we’d like to see from Liverpool’s final 6 Premier League games

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Liverpool have six Premier League matches remaining in 2015/16, as they look to end their domestic campaign in style.

The Reds continued their good recent form with a 2-1 win at Bournemouth on Sunday, with goals from Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge earning Jurgen Klopp‘s side all three points on the south coast.

While the Europa League has understandably become No. 1 priority for the Reds, a strong finish in the league is still much-needed.

With six games left, Klopp’s men will fancy their chances of finishing in the European positions—a real success after such a turbulent start to 2015/16 under Brendan Rodgers.

Here are six things we’d like to see from Liverpool between now and final weekend of the season.

 

More Game Time For Ward

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 17, 2016: Liverpool's goalkeeper Danny Ward in action against Bournemouth during the FA Premier League match at Dean Court. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sunday was a momentous occasion for young goalkeeper Danny Ward, who was handed his first ever start for Liverpool at Dean Court.

The 22-year-old did himself proud, making a number of good saves and distributing the ball well, and it would be good to see him used regularly in the league until May.

Klopp already knows what Simon Mignolet can and cannot bring to the team, so leaving him out of relatively low-key league games should not do much harm.

The Belgian will, of course, be first choice between the sticks for the Europa League semi-final against Villarreal, unless Klopp suddenly has a drastic change of mind.

Ward looked the part against Bournemouth, and while his inexperience means he probably won’t start against Everton on Wednesday, it would be good to see plenty of him in the coming weeks.

The Welshman has waited a long time to be given his chance, since returning from a loan spell at Aberdeen, but his debut was full of positives.

 

Consistency From Allen

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 2, 2016: Liverpool's substitute Joe Allen warms-up during the Premier League match against West Ham United at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The rise of Joe Allen at Liverpool this season has been both unexpected and glorious, with the 26-year-old producing consistently excellent performances from the substitutes’ bench.

With both Jordan Henderson and Emre Can potentially sidelined for the rest of the season, however, the Wales international is now debatably the first midfielder on Klopp’s teamsheet.

While Allen’s brilliant cameos have been hugely encouraging—a new contract must be offered to him in the summer—it is time for him to perform for 90 minutes week in, week out.

Part of the reason he was once so derided by many was his ability to have the occasional stinker, but now is the perfect chance to show Klopp he can be relied upon from the start.

These final six league games, as well as the two legs against Villarreal, could almost act as an audition for Allen, as he looks to show his manager he is worthy of being a long-term member of his squad.

He has come a very long way this season, and playing a starring role for the remainder of the campaign is crucial in terms of Liverpool’s results.

 

Keep Playing The Kids

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2016: Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo in action against Stoke City during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has given plenty of young Reds players the chance to shine this season, most notably in the FA Cup, and the next month or so should see more of that.

The Liverpool manager is sure to rest important players for the upcoming matches against Newcastle and Swansea—maybe even away to Everton in the Merseyside derby—which will pave the way for the youngsters to impress.

Sheyi Ojo and Jordon Ibe both did well against Bournemouth, and are worth persevering with, while Brad Smith and Connor Randall can fill in for Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno at full-back.

Kevin Stewart will be needed in the middle of the park, given Henderson and Can’s injury woes, and there may even be opportunities for academy players such as Cameron Brannagan and Pedro Chirivella.

Winning every league game is far from paramount for Liverpool, and dropping points in order to give young players a chance is a risk worth taking for Klopp.

It will provide them with a chance to show the German they should be part of his plans next season and beyond.

 

Positive Endings For Skrtel & Toure

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 21, 2015: Liverpool's Martin Skrtel celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Manchester City during the Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren now Klopp’s undisputed first-choice centre-back pairing, playing time has been limited for Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure in recent weeks.

There is a strong chance that both the Slovakian and the Ivorian will move onto pastures new in the summer, and they will likely feature sporadically until the end of the season.

Skrtel’s reputation has been increasingly damaged this season, with more and more supporters coming round to the fact that he is a liability.

Despite this, the 31-year-old has given almost a decade of loyal service to Liverpool, and should be given a good send-off in the coming weeks.

Toure has been a decent addition to the squad since arriving in 2013, and he too should be given a rousing farewell whenever his final appearance arrives.

Some good performances from both in the next month would be a nice way to bow out.

 

Sturridge To Hit Double Figures

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 14, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge scores the first goal against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Following such a horrendous time with injuries, it has been a joy to see Sturridge back playing regular football in 2016.

The 26-year-old may have taken time to get back to full match sharpness, but his ruthlessness in front of goal has not gone away.

He has nine goals in 19 appearances this season, often coming off the bench, and he has six in 10 in the Premier League.

With half a dozen games remaining, it would great to see Sturridge fire home at least four more goals, taking his league tally to double figures in the process.

Given the injury troubles he has gone through, and his limited amount of playing time, that would be seen as a great success story.

Firmino is currently on nine for the campaign—10 in all competitions—and it would be pleasing to see the Brazilian also score 10 or more in the league as well.

 

Finish In The Top 6

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 2, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As mentioned, things did not start well this season under Rodgers, and it predictably took Klopp a while to steady the ship.

Having looked at one stage as though as mid-table finish was more than likely, a run of positives results have seen a top-six berth look increasingly achievable.

The Reds have only lost once in their last eight league outings, and a fairly kind run-in means they should try and remain unbeaten until the end of the season.

Admittedly, blooding youngsters could prove to be Liverpool’s downfall—a poor result is also never too far away—but few sides are in better form currently.

If the Reds beat Everton on Wednesday, they will rise to at least seventh in the table, and depending on West Ham‘s result at home to Watford, they could even be sixth at the end of the night.

Man United are still within touching distance in fifth, which should also be something to aim at for Klopp and his side.

Some fans may not want to qualify for the Europa League again, given its gruelling schedule, but hasn’t this season shown what fun the competition can be?

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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