The fixtures for 2013/14 have been released, and immediately thoughts turn to whether or not Liverpool can put up a credible challenge in their quest for Champions League football.
I’ve taken a look at the results from the corresponding fixtures from this season, and it becomes immediately clear that the Reds’ form in 2014 will likely hold the key to this ambition.
The below table shows the new season’s fixtures, with the points tally from last season broken down into five game chunks.
With a target of nine points per five games to get to 68 in total, and being in the mix for a fourth place finish, it’s interesting to note that simply repeating last season’s results will keep the Reds close to that target for most sections of the season.
|AUGUST||2012/13 Pts||5 game Points|
|17 Stoke City (H)||1|
|24 Aston Villa (A)||3|
|31 Manchester United (H)||0|
|14 Swansea City (A)||1|
|21 Southampton (H)||3||8|
|28 Sunderland (A)||1|
|5 Crystal Palace (H)||3|
|19 Newcastle United (A)||3|
|26 West Bromwich Albion (H)||0|
|2 Arsenal (A)||1||8|
|9 Fulham (H)||3|
|23 Everton (A)||1|
|30 Hull City (A)||1|
|3 Norwich City (H)||3|
|7 West Ham (H)||1||9|
|14 Tottenham Hotspur (A)||0|
|21 Cardiff City (H)||3|
|26 Manchester City (A)||1|
|28 Chelsea (A)||1|
|1 Hull City (H)||3||8|
|11 Stoke City (A)||0|
|18 Aston Villa (H)||0|
|28 Everton (H)||1|
|1 West Bromwich Albion (A)||0|
|8 Arsenal (H)||0||1|
|12 Fulham (A)||3|
|22 Swansea City (H)||3|
|1 Southampton (A)||0|
|8 Sunderland (H)||3|
|15 Manchester United (A)||0||9|
|22 Cardiff City (A)||3|
|29 Tottenham Hotspur (H)||3|
|5 West Ham (A)||3|
|12 Manchester City (H)||1|
|19 Norwich City (A)||3||13|
|26 Chelsea (H)||1|
|3 Crystal Palace (A)||3|
|11 Newcastle United (H)||1||5|
NB Cardiff replace Wigan, Hull replace Reading, and Crystal Palace replace QPR.
For the first half of the season, not too much improvement will be required to meet the target. As an example, home draws with Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, added to matching the results from last season would enable the nine point aim to be met, and that doesn’t sound too daunting a prospect.
I guess the main thing to change from 2012/13 will be swapping a few draws for wins, as Liverpool will inevitably lose a few games, but it’s all about getting to that tally of nineteen or twenty wins.
Clearly once New Years Day is out of the way, the following five fixtures are where there is the most room for improvement, then at the business end of the season (March 22nd onwards), the Reds have a lot of good results which they will need to replicate.
Ultimately, the total tally of points you amass compared to your peers is what matters most of all, not how spread out they are throughout the campaign. But the way the fixtures have fallen means that as long as the Reds continue their excellent form from the second half of 2012/13, then they should be in with a shout of a top four finish in 2014.
Brendan Rodgers, noting all of this down…
Related posts you might like:
Nineteen Wins Required – A look at what Liverpool need to do next season to make the top four (the clue is in the title!)
What You Need To Finish Fourth; Are Liverpool Close - With every good win, the talk of Liverpool making next season’s Champions League hots up. Is this a realistic goal this season?
Rogers’ Rocky Road – A look at Liverpool’s fixture list for 2012/13, and where they can improve on last season.
First Day Fairness – How often have Liverpool started at home in the Premier League, and how does that compare to other clubs?