Liverpool start a series of games that could determine their season if Burnley arrives at Anfield on Thursday night.

The defending champions of the Premier League have been without a win in four league games and have moved away from the top of the table. Jurgen Klopp’s side is currently under both Manchester clubs and Leicester City.

And a full schedule could prove whether Liverpool can defend their title or settle for a top four challenge. Before this time, the club faces seven league games in the next month, as well as a tough draw in the FA Cup and the start of its Champions League knockout campaign.

Jürgen Klopp is certainly aware that his team’s focus may have to shift if the sluggish start into 2021 continues. The 53-year-old told reporters in Sunday’s 0-0 draw against Manchester United that securing a top four spot remains a top priority for any title thought.

“It doesn’t matter to me where we are right now – it’s important that we have points and are in this group [of teams]”Said Klopp.

“You need points for that. We are in the middle of a number of teams fighting for this place and we have to do that. It’s not about whether we don’t become champions. We just fight for everything and I saw that again tonight. “

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The Burnley fixture list is not only the start of a busy series of games, but also a series of games against Liverpool’s direct opponents in this “group of teams for the top four”. Klopp and his squad head to Tottenham Hotspur next week, while the league also approaches meetings with Man City, a formidable Leicester, and Merseyside rivals Everton.

Liverpool’s upcoming games

  • January 21 – Burnley (H)
  • February 24 – Manchester United (A) FA Cup fourth round
  • January 28 – Tottenham Hotspur (A)
  • January 31 – West Ham United (A)
  • February 3 – Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
  • February 6 – Manchester City (H)
  • February 10 – Possible draw in the fifth round of the FA Cup
  • February 13 – Leicester City (A)
  • February 16 – RB Leipzig (A) Champions League round of 16 first leg
  • February 20 – Everton (H)

Concerns about gate detection

If Liverpool are looking to tackle these difficult games next month, Klopp is keen to find a solution to his side’s goal problems as he has not scored in the last three Premier League games.

Mohamed Salah is undoubtedly the club’s top scorer at 13, but Sadio Mane struggled to find last season’s form on goal and Diogo Jota’s injury has denied Klopp an alternative to the misfiring Roberto Firmino.

“We’re up against Burnley on Thursday and they’re not known for conceding a lot of goals,” Klopp said this week, adding that he was pleased with his team’s improved performance against United despite the lack of goals:

“When you think about the last two games, it’s been a massive improvement and that’s obviously important. It was much more us, if not quite us, and I agree. And now we go on. “

Could key players return?

Liverpool’s injury problems this season are well documented, but key players are expected to return next month.

Diogo Jota, who has been struggling with a knee injury for some time, is expected to be available in time for the game in Man City, while center-back Joel Matip is back in full training.

“He’ll be in the mix, but I don’t know,” said Klopp when asked if Matip is competing against Burnley. “I’m pretty sure he trained today, another tough session. Probably yes, we don’t know.”

Matip has struggled with persistent injuries in the past few seasons (Photo: NMC Pool)

Midfielder Thiago Alcantara is given an extended playing time following his own recovery from an injury, but the club are giving Naby Keita time before reintroducing him to the first XI.

However, there’s not all that good news about center-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, who are both expected to miss out on most of the rest of the season.