WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Friday, December 21, 2018: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates the first goal scored by Mohamed Salah (hidden) during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man City trip one of four must-win Premier League clashes for Liverpool FC in January

Liverpool head into the New Year top of the table, and after a title showdown with Man City face three Premier League fixtures which will be equally important.

The Reds hold a seven-point lead over City at the start of 2019, with 18 more games to play in their pursuit of the English top-flight title.

Presented as their biggest challenge yet, this trip to the Etihad could prove pivotal as Jurgen Klopp‘s side chase silverware, but after that are three more ‘must win’ league games in January.

Liverpool will also begin their FA Cup campaign this month, with a trip to Wolves to come in the third round, which could provide Klopp with an opportunity to rotate his squad.

Elsewhere, the academy sides are back in action after a winter break, and the Liverpool FC Women continue their season in earnest with three more Super League clashes.

Here’s what to expect from Liverpool’s first team, women, U23s and U18s this month.


First-Team Fixtures & TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 29, 2018: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scores the fifth goal with team-mates during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Wolves (A)FA Cup 3rd Round – January 7, 7.45pm – BBC


Form Guide & Talking Points

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 5, 2018: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mates during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last 10 Games (All Competitions): W-L-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W

Since their 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of November, Liverpool have won every game; they are yet to suffer defeat in the Premier League after 20 games.

This culminates in a clash with their closest rivals to kick off the New Year, with the Reds making the short trip to Manchester looking for a fourth win in their last five meetings with City.

Pep Guardiola’s side have stuttered of late, but are certain to put up a fight, as their own title hopes rest on taking three points from their challengers.

After that, Liverpool face a relatively comfortable run in the league on paper, with a trip to Brighton followed by home meetings with Crystal Palace and Leicester.

Having weathered a difficult, congested December to take three wins, the hope will be Klopp can keep the momentum going throughout January.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Friday, December 21, 2018: Wolverhampton Wanderers's Adama Traoré (L) and Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is the small matter of an FA Cup tie at Wolves to plan for, too, and it will be interesting to see the approach Klopp takes with his squad in the competition.

With their title fight in full flow, and with a last-16 clash with Bayern Munich to come in the Champions League, it seems likely the manager will opt to ring the changes in the cup.

Having dropped out of the League Cup at first time of asking, Liverpool could highlight City, Tottenham and Chelsea‘s places in the semi-finals of that tournament, and therefore a busier schedule, as a sign to switch emphasis.

Klopp will, of course, reject any suggestion he will make any changes that aren’t necessary, but it could even provide an opportunity for youngsters such as Adam Lewis, Ki-Jana Hoever and Curtis Jones.


Liverpool U23s

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 29, 2018: Liverpool's captain Matty Virtue celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mates during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at The Recreation Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last 10 Games (All Competitions) L-L-W-D-L-W-D-W-W-D

  • Swansea (H) – PL International Cup – January 24, 7pm – LFCTV

After a major struggle at the start of the season, Neil Critchley‘s U23s are beginning to find form, and are now unbeaten in their last five games in competitions, winning three.

This has come with something of a shakeup in personnel, with Hoever among those to benefit, having made the step up from the U18s despite his 17th birthday not arriving until January 18.

Bobby Duncan also featured for the U23s before the winter break, while Paul Glatzel came off the substitutes’ bench to score in a 3-0 behind-closed-doors friendly win over Man United at the end of December.

The returning Shamal George saved two penalties that day at Carrington, too, and his presence underlined the changing face of Critchley’s squad throughout the season.

George, Corey Whelan and Connor Randall all see their loan deals expire this month, while Ovie Ejaria has already returned from Rangers and Ben Woodburn will make his way back from Sheffield United—but will others head out?


Liverpool U18s

ST HELENS, ENGLAND - Monday, December 10, 2018: Liverpool's substitute Bobby Duncan celebrates scoring the fifth goal during the UEFA Youth League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Langtree Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last 10 Games (All Competitions) W-W-W-W-L-L-W-W-W-W

It’s set to be a quiet January for Barry Lewtas‘ U18s, with just two competitive games, and this will likely see some of his key players involved with both the U23s and first team.

But as they chase the U18 Premier League title, beginning the month a point behind North Division leaders Everton, it is vital they keep getting wins on the board.

The performances of Glatzel and Duncan will, as ever, be crucial, with the pair in excellent goalscoring form in the first half of the season, while the relentless creativity of Jake Cain will be similarly important.

A home clash with Sunderland starts their month on January 11, with the LFCTV cameras on hand to provide supporters with a welcome glimpse into the future.


Liverpool FC Women

Liverpool FC Women team huddle before the WSL game at Prenton Park on October 14, 2018 in Birkenhead, England. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Last 10 Games (All Competitions) W-W-L-L-L-L-L-D-W-L

  • Brighton (H) – WSL – January 6, 2pm – Not on UK TV
  • Yeovil (A) – WSL – January 13, 3pm – Not on UK TV
  • West Ham (H) – WSL – January 28, 7pm – BT Sport

Like the U23s, the new-look Liverpool FC Women have suffered this season, but unlike the club’s academy side, they have not been so consistent of late.

Their last five games have heralded a win, a draw and three losses, and they will be desperate to return to winning ways as they face three more Women’s Super League fixtures in January.

Interestingly, their only three victories in the WSL this season so far came over this month’s opponents: Brighton, Yeovil and West Ham.

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