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Winter break and 5 more things we spotted from Liverpool’s new fixtures

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The fixtures for the 2021/22 Premier League campaign have now been released, and Liverpool face the Championship winners for the third season running on opening day.

The new season is set to begin on August 14, with less than two months to wait before Premier League action returns.

A full list of Liverpool’s fixtures for next season can be found here, including key dates against Everton, Man United and Man City.

After the disappointment of an injury-ravaged 2020/21, Jurgen Klopp will be looking to restore his side to title contenders once more, with a genuine hope of becoming champions again.

There are 38 games in their way of that goal, however, and the fixture list throws up a number of interesting scenarios.

Here are six things we spotted from Liverpool’s 2021/22 Premier League calendar.

 

Another newly promoted opener?!

Norwich City's Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game vs Man City (Steven Paston/EMPICS Sport)

For the third year in a row, Liverpool will kick off the campaign against the Championship winners, with this time a reverse of the 2019/20 opener – away to Norwich.

That time at Anfield, the Reds put four past the Canaries, which they also did against Leeds last season on the way to a 4-3 victory.

Of course, the last opening-day win over Norwich set Liverpool on course for the Premier League title…

 

A first-ever trip

2FY1MY9 File photo dated 05-12-2020 of Brentford's Henrik Dalsgaard (left) and Sergi Canos. Issue date: Thursday May 27, 2021.

Brentford‘s triumph in the playoff final made them the 50th different side to play in the Premier League, with the Bees back in the top flight for the first time since 1946/47.

A lot has changed since then, with the club now employing the Moneyball formula to real success, including Ivan Toney, the first player to be involved in 40 goals or more in a single English league season since Mo Salah.

Liverpool haven’t played Brentford since 1989, and will visit their new Brentford Community Stadium for the first time ever on September 25.

 

That tough festive run…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 20, 2020: Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk speak with referee Paul Tierney during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

All in all, it’s a relatively kind fixture list for Liverpool in 2021/22 – though, as we know, that is all subject to change and will see the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup all wedged in.

But a four-game run directly over Christmas sees the Reds play Tottenham (A), Leeds (H), Leicester (A) and Chelsea (A) – the latter three over the space of a week.

With three of those games on the road, it could be a big test of Liverpool’s title credentials.

 

The winter break returns!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 4, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp is interviewed after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This season should see a return to normalcy after two campaigns interrupted by an ongoing pandemic, with full stadiums back and the calendar less congested.

One of the main benefits of this is that the winter break – effectively scrapped last term – will be back, and no games are scheduled between Crystal Palace (A) on January 22 and Leicester (H) on February 9.

But some of Klopp’s players will still be in action, as the Africa Cup of Nations is scheduled from January 9 to February 6, with Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita all set to be involved.

 

A pivotal Merseyside derby?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2020: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If Liverpool are gunning for the title in the final months of the season, all eyes will be on Anfield on April 23, for the Merseyside derby.

As the fifth-last game of the campaign, it will be the latest the Reds have played Everton in the Premier League since 2012/13, and the narrative is already laid out.

Everton were able to delay their rivals’ coronation with a 0-0 draw at Goodison towards the end of 2019/20 – if Liverpool are to be champions this time around, the hope will be that they can earn a derby double on the way.

Also of note is that the away derby at Goodison is a midweek night match, in late November.

 

The Anfield closer

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson lifts the Premier League Trophy following the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Paul Ellis/PA Wire/PA Images)

Denied a title lift in front of the fans in 2019/20, Liverpool will end another season in which they will hope to battle for pole position playing to a packed-out Anfield.

It would be the perfect backdrop for the trophy to return to Merseyside – and a parade would surely be sanctioned this time around if so.

Bring it on home, Reds.

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