It proved to be a mixed December for Jurgen Klopp‘s side as they coupled progress into the last 16 of the Champions League and dominant league displays with subpar performances which saw six points dropped in the top-flight.
With two draws to close out 2020, it proved a disappointing end to what had been an incredible year for the men in red and now they need to respond in kind.
A position at the top of the table remains an enviable one for the opposition and another five Premier League fixtures in January presents another opportunity to provide a setback to those around them in the table.
The FA Cup is also on the agenda for Klopp’s side but after another hectic schedule, it could prove a time to rotate as all eyes remain focused on league exploits.
January also presents challenges and opportunities for the under-18s and under-23s in addition to the women’s side who are aiming to secure automatic promotion by season’s end.
Here are the key dates for your diary for January.
January 2 – Transfer window opens
The winter window opens on the second day of the month and will run until February 1, the latter of which is in line with the rest of Europe.
Transfer business for Liverpool is certainly on the cards on both the incoming and outgoing front, with a centre-back surely having to be at the top of the wishlist.
Reports continue to distance the Reds from making a move despite the continued hits at the heart of the defence, but the likes of Schalke’s Ozan Kabak, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Torino’s Gleison Bremer have all been linked in recent weeks and months.
Incomings elsewhere are unlikely, but there is certainly scope for Divock Origi and Yasser Larouci to find new permanent homes while the likes of Sepp van den Berg and Liam Millar are in the mix for a loan spell.
As ever, the Reds will be linked with a long list of names as that’s what drives the clicks so don’t expect the cash to be splashed on various targets which will surface.
January 4 – Southampton (H)
The month starts with yet another road trip for the Reds, one which sees them travel to the south coast to meet an exciting and buoyant Saints outfit.
It also represents a reunion with ex-Red Danny Ings, who has been in fine form having netted six goals and provided three assists in his 12 league outings to date.
Ralph Hasenhuettl will be back on the touchline after a period of isolation as he aims to move his side back into the top six, while Liverpool will be out to arrest a poor away record which has seen just two wins picked up from eight games.
January 8 – Aston Villa (A)
It’s back to the scene of the crime that was the 7-2 defeat earlier this year just four days after the trip south, with Aston Villa awaiting in the third round of the FA Cup.
It is the fourth season in a row that Klopp has seen his side drawn against a Premier League team at this stage of the competition, where heavy rotation could be on the cards to provide a timely winter break to a number of senior figures.
Liverpool’s opportunity to avenge their heavy loss could be decided by extra-time and penalties should a winner not be crowned in the 90 minutes, with replays off the table this season – where progression would see the next round played on the weekend of January 23/24.
January 17 – Man United (H)
The big one. All eyes will be on this clash at Anfield, which will now, unfortunately, be played behind-closed-doors after the latest government restrictions.
At the time of writing, Man United sit three points behind the Reds with a game in hand and as such this one is set to be key for bragging rights, momentum and superiority in the table.
The respective clash last time out signalled the collective belief that the title was on the way and it would certainly be a welcome New Year gift to send United back to Old Trafford with their tails between their legs.
January 21 – Burnley (H)
Merely four days later and Liverpool will host a Burnley side still looking to distance themselves from the relegation zone.
Sean Dyche’s side have found it tough going to find the back of the net having scored just nine in their first 15 games, only one more than the league’s worst offence in Sheffield United.
January 28 – Tottenham (A)
Another battle with Spurs then awaits the following week, just over a month after the last meeting which ended in a 2-1 win at the death for the Reds.
It was a top of the table clash but Liverpool’s victory and subsequent dropped points from Jose Mourinho’s men saw them drop to seventh place at New Year, showing just how tight the top of the table is.
The clash will prove another test for Klopp’s side, one where they will need to ensure their road trip woes don’t follow them. It could also signal the return of Joel Matip.
January 31 – West Ham (A)
The month will then close out with another trip to the capital, with the Hammers playing host on a day which could see Diogo Jota return to action making “good progress” after his knee injury.
It was a tight tussle the last time these teams met in October, with the Portuguese forward the one to break the deadlock with five minutes remaining to see the Reds emerge as 2-1 victors.
West Ham have proven to be tough opposition so far this season but it is yet another game Klopp’s side need to win should they wish to surge ahead in the league table.
Liverpool Academy and Women’s Fixtures
London Bees (H) – Championship – Sunday, Jan 10, 2pm
Leicester (H) – Championship – Sunday, Jan 17, 2pm