After Liverpool’s inconsistent start to the season last August, Jurgen Klopp will be pleased with his side’s record six matches into the season. Following an opening-day draw with Chelsea, the Reds have won five straight, while they currently boast the league’s longest unbeaten run stretching back to last season. There is a stern test on the horizon though.
While in recent seasons such a strong start for Klopp’s men was a clear signal of their title challenging credentials, Liverpool supporters won’t want to get too far ahead of themselves on the basis of the early days of the campaign.
The Reds underwhelmed for much of the previous season as they missed out on a top-four finish and it would be a big ask for them to improve to the sizeable level necessary to wrestle the league title away from last season’s treble-winning Manchester City.
That is daunting test for any club in the world.
The 2022/2023 campaign highlighted the need for Liverpool to strengthen considerably in certain areas, particularly the midfield, before it could once more expect to contend for silverware as rigorously as it had throughout Klopp’s reign.
The summer rebuild did not quite play out as most Liverpool supporters would have imagined. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho departed Anfield. The dramatic sagas over Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo.
However, despite the disappointment of missing out on Lavia and Caicedo and coming up short in their bid for long time target Jude Bellingham, the signings of Alexis MacAllister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch have all generated optimism around the Kop.
Liverpool’s impressive start to the campaign has further fueled that optimism. The rhythm of their play and command over matches has thus far paid off with their early results.
While Ryan Gravenberch has featured only three times due to his late arrival, Mac Allister and particularly Szoboszlai have played no small part in their first months in Liverpool shirts.
Going forward, the Reds have demonstrated their firepower with three goals in four of their opening six league matches as well as away at LASK in the Europa League and in the League Cup against Leicester on Wednesday.
Their wealth of options up top has permitted Klopp to rotate between the likes of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Mohammed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo seamlessly as well as to turn to alternative options off the bench when necessary.
It is always a test to keep every top-class forward happy and Klopp has seemingly done that to this point in the season.
The defensive third remains the area of concern, however. Liverpool have routinely leaked chances and despite running out as comfortable victors against the likes of Bournemouth, Wolves and West Ham, would have been staring at far less appealing scores were it not for poor finishing or Allison’s heroics in goal.
Expect far harsher punishments for Liverpool if they begin their fixture at Tottenham in a similar fashion.
Spurs have looked a revitalized side under new manager Ange Postecoglou and have at least two goals in each league match to show for the exciting brand of attacking football they’ve produced thus far.
Though they owe the goal that clinched a point in the North London Derby last weekend in large part to an error from Arsenal midfielder Jorginho, the ruthlessness of Heung-Min Son and James Maddison should warn the Reds of how costly any mishaps at the back could prove.
Klopp’s men have made a habit of prevailing after finding themselves into difficult positions. A resurgent Tottenham will likely prove their most trying test of the season thus far and the Reds will need to demonstrate that same grit if they’re to leave the capitol with something.