Liverpool's 11 games from greatness as their quadruple bid begins

Eleven games from immortality: As Liverpool edge closer to a HISTORIC quadruple, could Merseyside rivals, old foes United or revenge-hungry City be the ones to derail Klopp’s juggernaut?

  • Liverpool got a step closer to the quadruple in the FA Cup semi-finals last week
  • The Reds now have potentially 11 games to win if they are to win four trophies
  • There are still league games to come against Man United, Everton and Spurs 
  • Chelsea stand in Jurgen Klopp’s way of lifting the FA Cup at Wembley next month
  • Meanwhile, Villarreal await in the semi-finals of the Champions League
  • If Liverpool beat them then it is a final in Paris against Man City of Real Madrid 

Liverpool’s bid to win an unlikely quadruple is actually starting to look like a possibility.

Their FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City on Saturday took Jurgen Klopp’s side to their second domestic final of the season – where they will place Chelsea next month.

The Reds have already won the League Cup, are a point behind City in the Premier League and face a Champions League semi-final against Villarreal.

While Liverpool – both players and their manager – have been reserved previously about their prospects of winning all four trophies on offer to them, Sadio Mane openly talked up the prospect at Wembley.

‘I think it would be early to talk about winning four trophies, but for sure I think we have to fight for it because we have the team to fight for it and we will do everything possible to go for it,’ said the man whose brace saw off Pep Guardiola’s side.

So, how does their route to a historic end to the season look from here? Well it starts against Manchester United at Anfield on Tuesday night and ends with a potential Champions League final on May 28.

Sportsmail has mapped out all of Liverpool’s games between now and the end of the season as Klopp’s dazzling side begin their final push for glory. 

After winning their FA Cup semi-final, Liverpool are 11 games away from a possible quadruple

Jurgen Klopp’s side won the League Cup, are in the FA Cup final and Champions League semi-finals and are just one point off Man City in the Premier League

Manchester United (H) – Premier League – April 19

What a game to kickstart this dash to the finish line. However out of form United may be, this remains the biggest club game in world football and they will be desperate to put on a performance at Anfield.

Liverpool come into Tuesday night’s game buoyed by their win over Man City, while United just about saw off basement boys Norwich and fans were seen shouting abuse at Paul Pogba at the final whistle.

There is also the added predicament of how much Klopp will rotate his side, given he has a Merseyside derby and Champions League semi-final on the horizon, whereas United can go full strength now they are only left in one competition.

While this looks like it should be a routine win for Liverpool, on paper at least, there is much more at play here and it looks likely to be a tight encounter that could go either way.

Slip-up potential: 6/10 

Liverpool’s bid for the quadruple really begins on Tuesday night as Man United come to Anfield

Everton (H) – Premier League – April 24

Another massive game at Anfield arrives five days later when Everton walk across Stanley Park to take on their city rivals.

This match will have enormous implications at both ends of the table and you never want to be playing a team scrapping for their Premier League life in the closing weeks of the season.

Everton have been abysmal all season – and their away record is awful – but they shook off their Anfield hoodoo with a win there last season and time is running out for Frank Lampard’s side to pick up points.

Despite the ferocity and nervous energy that surrounds a derby, Liverpool will be confident of blowing the blue half of Merseyside out of the water – especially when cheered on by 50,000 fans from the red side of the city.

Slip-up potential: 5/10  

Everton go to Anfield on Sunday in the derby but are desperately trying to avoid relegation

Villarreal (H) – Champions League semi-final, first leg – April 27

If you had offered Klopp a Champions League semi-final against Villarreal at the start of the season then he, without doubt, would have bit your hand off.

However, we all know Unai Emery is something of a specialist in European knockout ties and his side’s performances in the Champions League this season have been nothing short of sublime.

Bayern Munich and Juventus have been beaten in the knockout stages so far and Emery possesses a squad full of talent in attack and experience in defence and midfield so it will be a thorough test for the Reds.

Liverpool would also prefer to be playing the decisive second leg at Anfield but they are at home first. However, Liverpool can take plenty of confidence from the fact that Man United beat Villarreal twice in the group stage this season.

Slip-up potential: 8/10  

Villarreal are favourable Champions League semi-final opponents but they’ve beaten big sides

Newcastle (A) – Premier League – April 30

This is the game that has really irked Klopp. The Reds’ crucial Premier League trip to Tyneside is that weekend’s lunchtime kick-off so the trip to St James’ Park will come less than 72 hours after their Champions League semi-final against VIllarreal.

The Anfield club have made official representation to push the game back and a frustrated Klopp called on BT and the Premier League to allow his players extra recovery time from the first leg of their last four clash with the Spaniards. 

But broadcasters rarely change their schedules once they have been set so it looks like the Reds will have to dig deep and grind out three points. If a European hangover costs his side in the title race, Klopp will be livid. 

Newcastle are also in buoyant mood with Bruno Guimaraes’ brace against Leicester all-but securing their Premier League status ahead of the first summer transfer window under their Saudi ownership. 

Slip-up potential: 7/10  

Newcastle have little to play for but they are buoyant and will want to ruin Liverpool’s chances

Villarreal (A) – Champions League semi-final, second leg – May 3

If Klopp had his way Liverpool would blow their Spanish opponents out of the water at Anfield, build a commanding lead in the first leg and go to Spain with the luxury of rotating his squad.

But no Champions League semi-final is ever as routine as that, even when you are confident of beating your opponents, so expect another nervy night as the Reds look to book their place in the final in Paris.

Emery’s side beat Bayern 1-0 at home in the quarter-finals with some resolute defending and lively counter attacking play – so the LaLiga side will definitely be looking to exploit Liverpool’s high line.

Klopp’s Liverpool side were beaten at Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals in 2016 – before winning the return leg 3-0 – so he will be well aware of what they can produce. 

Slip-up potential: 8/10  

Unai Emery has proven plenty of times he has what it takes to succeed in European football

Tottenham (H) – Premier League – May 7

This is probably Liverpool’s toughest Premier League game to come. Spurs have turned a corner under Antonio Conte and are firmly in the race for Champions League football.

Spurs may have slipped up against Brighton on Saturday but they have been scoring goals for fun in recent weeks and playing against a 5-2-3 formation is always an awkward one.

Son Heung-min and Harry Kane’s relationship looks to be in full groove again and they will relish the chance of playing balls in behind Liverpool’s high line.

With Arsenal and United joining them in the fierce battle for Champions League football next season, Spurs will see their trip to Anfield as a free hit that many are expecting them to lose. 

Slip-up potential: 8/10  

Antonio Conte and Harry Kane both have hope they can lead Tottenham into the top four again

Aston Villa (A) – Premier League – May 10

After so many years of the Premier League title being Steven Gerrard’s main focus as Liverpool captain, could he ruin his former club’s chances of lifting the trophy this season?

The former Reds captain – and arguably the club’s greatest-ever player – will welcome Klopp and his team to Villa Park next month at what could be a pivotal time of the season.

Villa are in mid-table and will not get dragged into relegation trouble or make a late run for the European spots so there is an argument they could be ‘on the beach’ by the time Liverpool arrive.

However, the possibility of ruining somebody’s title hopes is enough to motivate any team and let’s not remember the last time Liverpool played at Villa Park in the Premier League was that 7-2 humiliation in October 2020.

Slip-up potential: 6/10  

After years of trying to win the title with them, could Steven Gerrard ruin Liverpool’s hopes?

Chelsea (N) – FA Cup final – May 14

The next time Liverpool have a chance to add another trophy to the Carabao Cup they lifted in February is the FA Cup final in just under a months time.

Like the League Cup final, they will be playing Chelsea at Wembley after Thomas Tuchel’s side saw off Crystal Palace in the other semi-final on Sunday.

Liverpool and Chelsea have played each other three times this season and all three have ended as a draw after 90 minutes – 1-1 at Anfield, 2-2 at Stamford Bridge and 0-0 in the Carabao Cup final.

So this one is sure to be another war of attrition that you would not bet against going all the way to penalties again. If it did, would Tuchel dare to bring on Kepa Arrizabalaga again? 

Slip-up potential: 9/10  

Liverpool will play Chelsea at Wembley again after the Blues saw off Crystal Palace on Sunday

Southampton (A) – Premier League – TBC

Liverpool’s participation in the FA Cup final has meant that their league game that weekend – against Southampton at St Mary’s has been postponed and will need to be rescheduled.

The Saints are a tricky team to predict. One week they can get battered at home to Chelsea and the next they can beat Arsenal at home. 

Liverpool won there in a nerve-shredding game in 2018-19 as they hunted down Man City (ultimately in vain) and will be confident of repeating the feat this season.

Southampton, like Aston Villa, have nothing to play for in the final few weeks of the season so Liverpool will be hoping their minds are focused on a beach in a far away land and not the task in front of them. 

Slip-up potential: 6/10 

Southampton’s form is very mixed but they have the ability to cause stronger teams problems

Wolves (H) – Premier League – May 22

If Liverpool could pick any team to play at home on the final day of the season, it probably wouldn’t be a team that have only conceded 28 goals all season and still have a chance of getting into Europe.

But there are no easy games when you are trying to win four trophies and Liverpool will have to overcome Bruno Lage’s side if they are to win the Premier League title.

It was Wolves who came to Anfield on the final day of the 2018-19 season as the Reds tried to jump ahead of Man City. Liverpool won but so did Man City at Brighton, meaning Klopp had to settle for second place.

Liverpool won at Molineux in December thanks to Divock Origi’s stoppage-time winner and it could be another nail-biting clash at Anfield on May 22 if a victory will be enough to seal the title. 

Slip-up potential: 7/10  

Wolves are a tricky team to play against and don’t concede many goals in the Premier League

Manchester City/Real Madrid (N) – Champions League final – May 28

If Liverpool come through the other 10 matches between now and the end of the season unscathed then this could arguably be the biggest match in the club’s history.

It seems almost inevitable that Liverpool and Man City will meet for European glory just a week after settling another of their intense domestic title battles.

City are desperate to win the club’s first Champions League title – a trophy that continues to elude Pep Guardiola and the club’s Abu Dhabi ownership.

But Real Madrid and Karim Benzema will not go down without a fight and, having already knocked out Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, there seems to be growing belief in Madrid that this is their year in Europe again.

If Liverpool get past Villarreal in the semi-finals then it will be a fascinating final, regardless of the opposition. But what a game it promises to be if an unprecedented quadruple hangs in the balance going into the final in Paris. 

Slip-up potential: 9/10  

If Liverpool beat Villarreal, they’ll play Real Madrid or Man City in the Champions League final

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article