When the good ship Arsenal sails clear of the doldrums that comprise the current international break, we have the reigning (but somewhat tarnished) league champions on the horizon.
Liverpool visit the Emirates on Saturday for an 8pm kick-off, and I really wish it was a game we had played before the Interlull, not afterwards.
Going into the break the Scousers’ form was: P8 – W2 – D0 – L6.
People in Liverpool are used to the idea of “the wheels coming off” (whenever they leave their car parked on the street overnight), but the champions’ fall from grace this season is something to behold.
Liverpool were so good last year that no-one could touch them. They finished 18 points – EIGHTEEN! – ahead of the next best team, Manchester City.
This season they have had some bad injuries but that should not be enough to explain their precipitous decline. It’s more like they climbed a mountain last season in winning the title and psychologically thought “that’s it, job done. No need to worry now.”
Anyway, here’s my point. Their recent run has been so bad that it can’t possibly continue. Their players are too good for that. Consequently the two-week break from domestic football will have given Jurgen “Gnashers” Klopp time to refocus, bang some heads together and aim for a strong finish to the season.
If we had played them before the break I would have fancied our chances a lot more, given that we are coming off a run of six games with only one defeat (at the hands of the champions-to-be Man City).
Provided we don’t perform like we did for the first half hour against West Ham, we have the tools to hurt Liverpool.
The question is, have we missed our best chance? Has international footy scuppered our opportunity?
We shall find out at the weekend.