After an unusual mid-season break for the World Cup, Liverpool return to action with a warm-weather training camp in Dubai, a Carabao Cup clash with Man City, and the resumption of their Premier League campaign in December.
Jurgen Klopp will know that, if his side are to have achieved anything by June, they simply must be more consistent with their performances and results in the second half of the season.
It remains to be seen when the seven Liverpool players competing at the World Cup will be ready to reconvene with the rest of the squad, with all of those involved in Qatar set to be given a well-earned rest when their international duties are concluded.
Here are the key dates for your diary in December, which includes first team, women’s and academy fixtures.
December 4 – Reds jet off to Dubai
This coming Sunday, the Liverpool players who aren’t in Qatar will head out to Dubai for a 12-day warm-weather training camp.
There, the Reds are to take on Lyon and AC Milan in the Dubai Super Cup as they ramp up their preparations for a return to competitive action later in the month.
The travelling squad will be confirmed in due course, with a number of young players expected to be given an opportunity to impress in what Klopp is referring to as a second “pre-season.”
December 11 – Lyon friendly
Liverpool will have six full days to prepare for their first friendly in Dubai, with Lyon the opposition in the first of two matches in the Dubai Super Cup.
AC Milan and Arsenal are the other two teams taking part in the mini tournament, but Liverpool will not be coming up against the Gunners.
The points-scoring format is a unique one. There will be four matches in total, with each team playing twice. Teams are awarded three points for a win and two for a draw.
Regardless of the scoreline, penalties will take place after each game, with an additional point awarded to the winners of the shootout. The team that has accumulated the most points at the end of the tournament will be crowned Dubai Super Cup champions.
December 16 – AC Milan friendly
Five days later, Liverpool will come up against Milan before they return to Merseyside.
That, of course, may well mean a reunion with Divock Origi, who joined the Serie A champions from Liverpool last summer and is not in Belgium’s World Cup squad.
The two matches will offer Klopp and his coaching staff the opportunity to assess their players in matches before the real stuff begins again just before Christmas.
Both Dubai Super Cup matches will be broadcast live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.
December 18 – World Cup final
Any Liverpool players who are lucky enough to go the distance in Qatar will play the final on Sunday, December 18.
Some, of course, will have exited the competition before that point, but are highly likely to jet away for a well-earned holiday before they reconvene with the rest of the Liverpool squad.
If any Liverpool players do reach the final, they would surely be unlikely to feature again for Liverpool before the new year.
December 22 – Man City (A)
The Reds’ return to competitive action comes three days before Christmas, with a Carabao Cup last 16 tie against Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
On paper, it’s the hardest possible draw for the Reds, but it’s worth noting that the vast majority of Man City‘s squad are involved at the World Cup, as opposed to Liverpool’s seven participants.
Erling Haaland, Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Gomez are the only Man City players that didn’t go to Qatar.
That may offer Liverpool an advantage for this game, with Klopp likely to field a stronger XI than he was able to in the Reds’ previous Carabao Cup clash with Derby. The draw for the quarter-finals should also take place in this same week.
December 22 – FA Youth Cup campaign begins
A few hours before the first team’s encounter with City, Liverpool under-18s are to take on Bournemouth in the FA Youth Cup third round.
Kickoff is set for 2pm, with the match played at the Vitality Stadium. It will be interesting to see which players are involved, with some youngsters likely to be in contention to feature for the first team instead.
The under-18s have been good value this season, with the likes of Ben Doak, Trent Kone-Doherty and Lewis Koumas all impressing, although there’s every chance the former will spend the rest of the season playing at a higher level.
The Youth Cup is a tournament Liverpool have a lot of history in, with the Reds crowned winners in 2018-19 and finishing as runners-up in 2020-21.
December 26 – Aston Villa (A)
Liverpool’s Premier League season resumes with a trip to Villa Park on Boxing Day.
By this point, you would hope Klopp’s squad are raring to go for the second half of the season, with the games coming thick and fast as we head into the new year.
A tricky return to league action.
December 30 – Leicester (H)
Liverpool’s final match of 2022 will be a league home game against Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester.
Klopp will be fairly satisfied with the festive schedule his side have been dealt, with many other Premier League clubs having a smaller gap between matches.
Having struggled in the early weeks of the season, Rodgers’ side were in much better form going into the break, winning six of their last nine games in all competitions.
Liverpool Fixtures, December
Lyon – Dubai Super Cup – Sunday, December 11, 2pm
AC Milan – Dubai Super Cup – Sunday, December 16, 3.30pm
Man City (A) – Carabao Cup – Thursday, December 22, 8pm
Aston Villa (A) – Premier League – Monday, December 26, 5.30pm
Leicester (H) – Premier League – Friday, December 30, 8pm