Our weekly Liverpool jury columnists take stock of the season so far and where Jurgen Klopp’s side could finish.
Another international break is upon us, representing the chance for Liverpool to reflect on their start to the season.
The Reds currently sit fourth in the table and three points off first-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who remain unbeaten alongside north London rivals Arsenal.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have shown plenty of promise during their eight Premier League fixtures this term, though there remains room for improvement as Liverpool look to keep pace with the teams around them in the table.
Assessing the team’s current start to the campaign and what could be possible in the months ahead, four Liverpool supporters have shared their views as part of a weekly ECHO fan column.
To be sitting where we are in the table given some of the refereeing howlers so far this season instils me with great hope for the campaign and Liverpool’s chances across the board.
I think we have every right to be challenging for the top spot in the league given the quality and depth in our ranks and I wouldn’t put it past us for some solid cup runs ending in silverware either.
I think to realistically achieve that, though, we will need to be lucky with injuries in key moments and need to start throwing the first punches in matches.
I’ve lost count of the number of games during which we’ve conceded early doors due to slow starts and sloppiness at the back.
The problem is, such mistakes have often come from experienced players we should be able to count on by now.
I hope the international break will allow the squad a chance to dust off the recent injustices and bounce back with a statement win in the Merseyside derby next Saturday.
After an underwhelming draw against Brighton, Liverpool sit three points off the Premier League summit. Will this picture remain the same when it comes to the final sprint? Will Liverpool keep with the emerging frontrunners?
Offensively, we look sharp and dangerous, which should increase fan confidence about a title challenge. Defensively, we look, at times at least, brittle and vulnerable, which should perhaps temper heightened optimism.
When we look at some of the key metrics, Liverpool are in good shape in terms of goals scored (Liverpool 18, Arsenal 16, Man City 17), but the picture is less impressive with goals conceded (Liverpool 9, Arsenal 6, Man City 6).
Title foundations are built on strong defences. It feels like Liverpool have sought to put a band-aid on a bullet wound by only bringing in one experienced holding midfielder in the summer.
If we have title aspirations, we must seek defensive reinforcements in the January transfer market.
What is plain to see is that Klopp’s 2.0 team is beginning to bud. While there are some signs of defensive decay, the midfield is ripening and our attack is in full bloom.
On the one hand, it’s way too soon to start making predictions. Yet, it is the international break and this represents a good time to take stock of the current situation.
The only way forward is to make bold predictions and extrapolate meaning from a limited sample size. Fandom at its finest.
The league title remains up for grabs. Current pace setters, Arsenal and Tottenham, aren’t so far ahead that we should concentrate on remaining in the top four. And with a few different bounces of the ball, we could be sitting in top spot.
Nothing in the performances to date suggests that Liverpool can’t win the title or at least take it to the season’s final days.
They’ve been strong in attack, overcome defensive frailties and look to be mentally ready for a long battle.
While City sit third, I still believe they’re the biggest rivals for first place. Spurs look a revamped side, but maybe this is a season too soon for a sustained title challenge.
Arsenal pose a threat too, but their collapse last season looms large and I’m not sure they’ve got the mentality for another run-in. The bottom line is, we’re back in the hunt and challenging the usual suspects.
While it’s rarely easy to draw too many definitive conclusions at this stage of a season, we tend to get a sense of possibilities and potential.
After eight rounds of fixtures, the league table and wider perceptions can be skewed by variables such as fixture difficulty which are yet to, in relativity, level out.
Liverpool look to have built an encouraging base. 17 points from 24, fourth place, three points off the top – that feels like a decent place to work from.
Factor in that we’ve played six likely top-half finishers – four of whom away – and that only three of our eight fixtures so far have been at Anfield, and the picture arguably becomes additionally positive.
It’s still early days – and several sides look strong – but the Reds are in the mix, whilst still being in a mixing phase of sorts. Rapport and balance ought to grow in the coming weeks and months.
Maintaining our current points acquisition rate would almost certainly be enough for a top-four place, but there’s plenty of reason to believe we can send said rate upwards.
Promisingly, it seems that all avenues of possibility and potential remain open for Jürgen Klopp’s team.