Don’t look now… but for the first time in years, the Reds are in the thick of things in the Premier League. They have an opportunity to move Liverpool soccer into a new era, with the potential of putting their successive seasons of mediocrity out of mind. It‘s not audacious to think the league title is within grasp for them, as they are only seven points off the pace, with thirteen left to play, and have remaining home games against top opponents. At the same time, Liverpool must continue their good play in order to remain ahead of Tottenham in the fourth spot.
Last weekend against Arsenal, Liverpool came out with a fire and steamrolled the visiting North Londoners 5-1. They now have a short turnaround at Craven Cottage, taking on Fulham, a side that plays south of Arsenal geographically in the city and stands at the polar end of the table as well.
Obviously, this matchup seems quite favorable when you look at Fulham who: are last in the table, concede the most goals of any team, are winless in their last six, and had no answer for Liverpool in the first meeting which ended 4-0. However, this is actually a precarious situation for a Liverpool side that, coming off a big win against Everton recently, went to West Brom the next match and failed to hold onto a win against the relegation zone team.
It would be unwise to expect that Fulham will lie down for them either. Last weekend at Old Trafford, Fulham demonstrated a great deal of pride and fight by scoring an injury time equalizer, leaving Manchester with both the point and a boost of confidence. Liverpool can’t afford to overlook this fixture for the looming rematch versus Arsenal in the FA Cup this weekend.
Is this the year that Liverpool takes the step back to Premier League supremacy? Having the focus to seize THREE points against inferior competition late in the season may be the key. While the Arsenal victory was nice, they cannot expect to dominate top opponents like that down the stretch. We already know they have the skill of a top team, but do they have the discipline of one? If Liverpool can show up and win this game in a controlling fashion, it would be a good sign that they are ready to be a true contender.