European decider & 4 Merseyside derbies – Liverpool’s key dates for the diary in March

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Liverpool have a busy March ahead, with four Merseyside derbies, a Champions League decider and three games to respond to a setback in the Premier League.

Following a hit-and-miss month in February, the next four weeks will be hugely important for Liverpool.

A shock 3-0 loss at Watford last time out means the Reds still need 12 more points to clinch the Premier League title, and they can no longer straightforwardly seal the deal in March.

They will, however, be eager to right their wrongs early.

Elsewhere, the month should begin with another test for the club’s youngsters on the senior stage, while a 1-0 loss at Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie leaves it all to do in the Champions League.

For the academy, there are high-profile clashes both on the domestic and continental stage, while the women’s side will contest one of the club’s four meetings with Everton over the space of 12 days.

Here are all the key dates for your diary throughout March.

 

March 3 – Chelsea in the FA Cup & U19s in Europe

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's match-winning goal-scorer Curtis Jones during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This month begins with a trip to Chelsea in the FA Cup, and though Jurgen Klopp will take charge, it could provide further opportunity for the youngsters who overcame Shrewsbury in the third round under Neil Critchley.

The likes of Neco Williams and Curtis Jones should be involved, but it will be interesting to see how Klopp approaches this tie otherwise.

A clear indication of his stance should come earlier in the day, with the under-19s to take on Benfica in the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League, as those involved will not be taking part at Stamford Bridge.

 

March 7 – Bournemouth (H)

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 7, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (#11) celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mates during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The first Premier League clash of the month comes at home to a struggling Bournemouth side, who have taken just 27 points from 28 games so far.

Liverpool produced a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Cherries at Dean Court in December, and have now won all five of their last meetings, scoring 17 goals and conceding none.

They have never lost to Bournemouth at Anfield, but they should not be taken lightly despite their status as relegation candidates—particularly given how they misfired at Watford.

 

March 10 – U23s take on Wolfsburg

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, February 24, 2020: Liverpool's Joe Hardy (C) celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mates Liam Millar (L) and Tony Gallacher (R) during the Premier League Cup Group F match between Liverpool FC Under-23's and AFC Sunderland Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool made the shock announcement at the beginning of March that Critchley had left his position as under-23s manager to take over at Blackpool in League One.

It is a positive move for Critchley, but one which leaves the young Reds without their figurehead, and his stand-in faces a big challenge first time out as the U23s take on Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals of the Premier League International Cup.

 

March 11 – Atletico Madrid (H)

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, February 18, 2020: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (L) and Club Atlético de Madrid's A?ngel Correa during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Club Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Beyond the Premier League, the Reds’ focus will be set on the Champions League this month, having suffered a 1-0 setback away to Atletico last time around.

That was a difficult night for Klopp’s side, who struggled to break down a rigid Atletico defence, and with the return leg at Anfield, the LaLiga challengers are unlikely to take a more adventurous approach.

Liverpool’s ability to turn around knockout deficits will be pointed to in the buildup, but Klopp will be more likely to call upon the power of Anfield as the Reds defend the European Cup.

 

March 14 & 15 – A pair of mini-Merseyside derbies

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 5, 2019: Liverpool's Leighton Clarkson (#Leighton Clarkson) celebrates with team-mates after forcing the third goal, an own-goal from Everton's Reece Welch, during the Under-18 FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC at Finch Farm. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Before Liverpool’s trip to Goodison Park in the Premier League, both the under-18s and under-23s will take on Everton in their respective derbies.

First up is the U18s’ clash at Kirkby, before the U23s travel to Haig Avenue for their Premier League 2 tie, with plenty riding on the encounters for both youth sides.

 

March 16 – Everton (A)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Everton's Michael Keane (R) during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 234th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This Merseyside derby could have been more significant, had Liverpool won at Watford and Man City were to lose away to Man United on March 8.

Now, unless City fail to take a single point from either of their next two league clashes with United and Burnley, this will simply be another opportunity to move closer to the title, rather than a trophy-clincher.

That will be music to Carlo Ancelotti’s ears, having expressed his desire for Liverpool to win the league at any other stadium than Goodison back in February.

 

March 20 – Champions League knockout draws

NYON, SWITZERLAND - Monday, December 17, 2018: Lyon player Laura Georges holds up Liverpool FC after making the draw during the UEFA Champions League 2018/19 Round of 16 draw at the UEFA House of European Football. (Handout by UEFA)

If Liverpool progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a comeback over Atletico, they will learn their opponents for the next stage on March 20.

The draw will be held in Nyon, beginning at 11am (GMT), and will be followed by draws for the semi-finals and final directly after.

 

March 21 – Crystal Palace (H)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 23, 2019: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If results go their way, this could be another game in which Liverpool confirm their status as champions, but now it is more likely that the visit of Roy Hodgson’s Palace comes before the names are engraved.

The date of this fixture is dependent, either way, on the Reds’ progress in the FA Cup, as if they reach the quarter-finals with a win over Chelsea, that will be played the weekend of March 21.

Also on that day, the U18s visit Newcastle, as they continue their challenge for the U18 Premier League title.

 

March 22 – International break begins

England's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FIFA World Cup Group G match at Kaliningrad Stadium - Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images

Ideally the Reds would have ended March as champions, but the loss at Watford now makes this unlikely, and the interval will serve as an unwelcome delay.

The majority of Klopp’s squad are likely to be called up for duty, with England taking on Italy (March 27) and Denmark (March 31) among a plethora of friendlies and qualifiers to end the month.

March 22 also brings the Liverpool FC Women’s clash with Man City, with an unwelcome gulf between the title favourites and Vicky Jepson’s struggling Reds.

 

March 25 – LFC Women’s Merseyside derby

Liverpool Women's Manager Vicky Jepson with her players shows her dejection after the final whistle during the FA Women's Super League match at Anfield, Liverpool. ( Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images)

The final date in Liverpool’s diary for March comes with the fourth and final Merseyside derby of the month, as Jepson’s side visit Goodison in the Women’s Super League.

Everton emerged 1-0 victors in the Anfield clash back in November, and the Reds will be desperate to take the three points on the road this time around.

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