Why April presents a huge stepping stone for Jurgen Klopp’s men

Friends Of Liverpool

As yet another somewhat underwhelming season draws to a close, where Liverpool have undeniably made huge strides under Jurgen Klopp yet have once again slipped up in several key games, there are still some huge ties remaining. With league tests against Chelsea and Brighton to look forward to in May, the Reds must first undergo an important month ahead in April, with four significant league fixtures and a two crucial Champions League quarter-final legs completing the packed schedule.

With the draw for the highly-coveted Champions League arriving on 16th March, Jurgen Klopp’s side will soon know their opponents in what will undoubtedly be a fiercely competitive two legs, regardless of which European superpower is pulled out of the hat. The first leg will subsequently take place on the 3/4 April, with the return leg arriving just one week later on the 10/11.

Wedged in between a potential meeting with the likes of Real Madrid or Bayern Munich is the small matter of the Merseyside derby, where a trip to Goodison Park represents another opportunity to get one over the noisy neighbours across Stanley Park.

Immediately after the second leg and a home tie with Bournemouth awaits, a side who have certainly been a thorn in Klopp’s side ever since he took over at the club, while meetings with relegation-threatened West Brom (away) and Stoke (home) complete a busy fixture list, where both sides will be looking to cause huge upsets as they continue their fight for survival. After a disappointing loss to United, the Reds slipped to fourth in the table, and are just four points ahead of Chelsea with eight games remaining, and so must pick up wins to stay in touch with the highly-competitive top four spots.

The Reds have once again had a slightly confusing season in terms of goals, with Klopp’s men having scored 68 in the league – second only to Manchester City – yet have conceded an incredible 34 goals, with Arsenal the only side in the top seven conceding more from their 30 games.

League losses have come at the hands of both halves of Manchester, a forgettable thumping from Spurs at Wembley and a miserable 1-0 defeat at Swansea, while cup losses with West Brom and Leicester in the FA and League Cups respectively had contributed to another season without silverware, unless of course the Reds can summon the courage to launch a successful Champions League run, which many believe they can considering the talents the club boasts up front in Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

Regardless of results, the one certainty from April will be squad rotation, where Klopp will unquestionably be forced to change his starting 11 in order to keep his players fresh. It will be a significant month for Liverpool considering how their season has transpired so far, with both a Premier League top-four finish and a Champions League journey still to play for.

Several players may consequently be given the opportunity to prove their worth, with the likes of Adam Lallana, Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke all ready to fight for their place in the squad in attack, with full-backs Alberto Moreno and Joe Gomez possibly re-entering the scene in the coming weeks. Simon Mignolet may also be recalled between the sticks in a final battle to save his Anfield future, with countless other players ready to stake their claim for a position in this exciting forward journey under their influential German manager.

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