April gives Liverpool chance to grab bull by the horns in Premier League and Champions League

1 April 2019

Liverpool face a decisive run in the Premier League in April, with three ‘easy’ games on paper and another test of big-game mettle at home to Chelsea.


The Reds are still firmly in the hunt for the title, beginning the month top of the table after an incredible, late 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Anfield.

It was a win that bore the hallmarks of champions, aided by fortune and met with a remarkable response from the Kop, and it kept Jurgen Klopp‘s side neck-and-neck with Man City.

The season ends in May, but it could well be decided in the next four league games in April, while there is also the small matter of a Champions League quarter-final to contest.

Meanwhile, it is set to be a conclusive month for the Reds’ other sides, as the end of the campaign draws closer and the pursuit of silverware grows more intense.

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

 

First-Team Fixtures & TV Info

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 29, 2018: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (left), Joe Gomez (right) and Eden Hazard (centre) during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Cardiff (A)Premier League – Sunday, April 21, 4pm – Sky Sports
  • Huddersfield (H)Premier League – Friday, April 26, 8pm – Sky Sports

* The first of leg of the Champions League semi-finals could be played on April 30.


 

Form Guide & Talking Points

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after his header forced a winning goal, an own goal from Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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


Liverpool are on a run of 13 games without defeat, and have won four of their last five in the league, as they continue to grind out victories in tough situations.

The win over Spurs was another big statement, with Toby Alderweireld’s late own goal the result of sheer persistence from the Reds, and another top-quality delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

April will require this to continue, but three of their next four games in the Premier League come against sides sitting in the bottom five: Southampton (16th), Cardiff (18th) and relegated Huddersfield (20th).

The hope will be that these are routine games for Klopp’s side, but that is never a guarantee, and that two clashes with Porto and the visit of Chelsea are sandwiched between them ensures this month will be a test of will.

Compared to City, though, this is a relatively light schedule, with Liverpool’s title rivals currently set to play eight times in April, including three meetings with Spurs and a Manchester derby at Old Trafford.

The win over Tottenham was vital, as it keeps pressure on City as they prepare for their most demanding month.

MUNICH, GERMANY - Wednesday, March 13, 2019: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring the third goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between FC Bayern M¸nchen and Liverpool FC at the Allianz Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Given the importance of bringing the title to Merseyside, it has been regularly debated as to whether Liverpool should prioritise the league over the Champions League.

A 3-1 aggregate win over Bayern Munich in the last 16 saw the squad answer that emphatically, and now the Reds have been handed arguably the most comfortable draw for the quarter-finals.

Porto certainly won’t prove pushovers, but Klopp will be eager to progress to the semi-finals where a clash with either Man United or Barcelona awaits.

Fortunately, the injury situation at Melwood continues to improve, and with the likes of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri back there are options to rotate without too significant a drop in class.

 

Liverpool U23s

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, March 12, 2019: Liverpool's Rhian Brewster during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between FC Bayern München and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

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


  • Leicester (A)Premier League 2 – Sunday, April 14, 1pm – Not on UK TV
  • Blackburn (H)Premier League 2 – Monday, April 29, 7pm – LFCTV

The U23s’ season ends this month, with three final fixtures in Premier League 2, and sitting fourth in Division 1 and 10 points off leaders Everton, their title hopes are over.

Their next two games are against sides within a point of themselves, though, with fifth-placed Chelsea level and Leicester one point behind in seventh, so Liverpool can ensure a positive end as they push up the table.

April could be the first time supporters see Rhian Brewster back in competitive action after over a year out with knee and ankle injuries, having made his comeback in a behind-closed-doors friendly last month.

He scored twice that day, with his first a stunning strike after just six minutes, and it would be great to see him build on this as he makes up for lost time.

The last day of the season will be live in front of the LFCTV cameras, providing fans with an opportunity to see the progress Neil Critchley‘s side have made this term.

 

Liverpool U18s

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 30, 2019: Liverpool's Jack Bearne celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League Academy match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the Mini-Mini Merseyside Derby, at Finch Farm. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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


  • Wolves (H) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, April 6, 12pm – LFCTV GO

Like the U23s, Barry Lewtas’ U18s will close their campaign in April, but unlike their older counterparts they are in hot pursuit of the title.

A 1-0 victory over Everton in the mini-derby at the end of March, courtesy of another Jack Bearne winner, and keeps them firmly in the fight with Derby County.

Lewtas has been blighted by injuries of late, however, most notably first-choice goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros and leading goalscorer Paul Glatzel, and he needs others to step up in their absence.

Bearne did so at Finch Farm, and the likes of him, Bobby Duncan, Fidel O’Rourke and the returning Luis Longstaff can help lighten the load as Liverpool look for silverware.

The last game of the season comes against Man City, but unlike their first-team sides, there is a gulf between them and Liverpool, which could provide an entertain closer.

 

Liverpool FC Women

Liverpool women's Courtney Sweetman-Kirk celebrates scoring her side's first goal of the game (John Walton/EMPICS Sport)

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


  • Bristol City (H) – WSL – Sunday, April 21, 2pm – Not on UK TV
  • Birmingham (A) – WSL – Sunday, April 28, 2pm – Not on UK TV

Liverpool’s women’s side suffered a miserable blow to end March, conceding a controversial last-minute goal at Man City to lose 2-1, with a mid-table finish their best hope in the Women’s Super League.

With just two games left to play, against sides at least nine points ahead of them, it will be a difficult task for Vicky Jepson’s side, who are at home in the opening game of April against Bristol City.

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk brought her goal tally for her first season on Merseyside to 12 with a penalty against City, which provides at least one positive for 2018/19.

It has been a turbulent campaign, so there is certainly reason for their form, but Liverpool can hope to end the season on a high at Birmingham on April 28.

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