Liverpool’s late rally ensured they’ll be dining at Europe’s top table in 2021/22 and their group stage schedule is to demand a lot from Jurgen Klopp‘s men.
The Reds dug deep into their reserves to secure an unlikely third-place spot in 2020/21 and with it, they provided themselves with a clean slate to build from after a rollercoaster of a year.
Buoyed by the return of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in addition to the arrival of Ibrahima Konate, Liverpool’s defence is set for another new look.
Add Jordan Henderson back into the mix and, hopefully, more new faces and the Reds will be primed for action at another tilt at silverware.
There will be a need to carefully manage those returning from injury and the latecomers from international tournaments, but when the Champions League kicks off in mid-September Klopp’s men should be primed for action.
And with the 2021/22 Premier League fixture list now released, we can get a fair idea of what lay in wait domestically after our European ventures.
- After CL matchday 1 – Crystal Palace (H), September 18
- After CL MD 2 – Man City (H), October 2
- After CL MD 3 – Man United (A), October 23
- After CL MD 4 – West Ham (A), November 6
- After CL MD 5 – Southampton (H), November 27
- After CL MD 6 – Aston Villa (H), December 11
There will be a keen desire not to see any long European trips come immediately prior to away games in the league as it’s far from ideal for preparation, more so for matchday one and three whereby the Reds are scheduled to be on the road in the Premier League both before and after.
This becomes more pertinent for the double-header in matchday three and four, with Klopp no doubt eager to avoid the group’s big hitter being sandwiched between the trip to Old Trafford.
But heading into the festive period, the league fixtures, on paper, would allow for some rotation to keep the squad fresh ahead of a testing end of the year.
And should Liverpool successfully progress beyond the group stage, as they have done so for the past four seasons, then they will certainly have a preference for the split week in the last 16.
The first leg of the round of 16 could be played on February 15/16 which would precede the visit of Norwich at Anfield, or if taking place on February 22/23 would be before Arsenal away.
The second leg would then take place either on March 8/9 before Brighton away, or on March 15/16 which comes prior to the much-anticipated fixture of Man United at home.
For the quarter-finals, the first leg is scheduled for April 5/6 and comes before what will be an important trip to Man City, with the second leg on April 12/13, before Aston Villa away.
The business end of the competition is where we want to see Klopp’s men and the semi-final first leg is to fall on April 26/27, before Newcastle away, while the second leg on May 3/4 would then see the Reds host Tottenham at Anfield.
We want a shot at No. 7 and if it was all to align, then it would see Saint Petersburg, Russia provide the backdrop for the final on May 28 at the Gazprom Arena, or more commonly known as the Krestovsky Stadium. Is it too early to book?