This Saturday Liverpool host a Newcastle United side managed by former Reds boss Rafa Benitez, as they look to kick-start the month of March with a win.
In what is his third season as the Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp is set to achieve his best finish to a season so far, with his Liverpool side sitting in third place with ten games remaining of the Premier League season.
Though the title may be out of reach for Liverpool, a second place finish is more than achievable. Manchester United are just two points ahead of Liverpool, with the two sides meeting at Old Trafford the next weekend.
It will be the sixth time that Liverpool have faced a Manchester team in March in the last eight seasons. Liverpool faced United in March 2011, where a Dirk Kuyt hat-trick secure da 3-1 win, and in March 2014 where a Steven Gerrard brace and a Luis Suarez goal sealed the 3-0 win over the Red Devils.
But the next season it was Manchester United who won the March fixture, with Liverpool facing Manchester City in March of the previous two seasons. Since 2010, the Reds have always had a good run of results in March, with the exclusion of the 2011/12 season where we lost at Sunderland and QPR, and at home to Wigan with the solitary victory of the month coming in a 3-0 demolition over Everton in the Merseyside derby.
So excluding the 2011/12 season, Liverpool have always managed to muster at least 6 league points in March since 2010, and with three fixtures against teams from the bottom half of the league, this could be another successful March for the Reds.
Liverpool start the month at home to Newcastle before hosting FC Porto in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Then the Reds travel to Manchester United, in what is a pivotal game in deciding who finished as runners-up to Manchester City, or even who goes on to challenge them for the title? The following weekend, Watford visit Anfield, before finishing off the month at Selhurst Park to face an out-of-form Crystal Palace side, who are also managed by a former Liverpool boss in Roy Hodgson.
Despite the presence of Tottenham and Chelsea, you cant help but think that the race for second place is very much a two-horse one between United and Liverpool. United will have had an extra days rest heading into the clash on the 10th of March, as they face Palace on Monday and Sevilla in the Champions League Round of 16 the week after the Liverpool game. The Red Devils then host Brighton and Swansea in what should be 6 routine points for Jose Mourinho’s team.
So with that vital game against United in the middle of the month, Liverpool must ensure that they win all the winnable fixtures, and/or progress in the Champions League. But then again, Liverpool have a good record against Manchester United in March, so this month could transform our season from a good one, into a successful one.