In the past two seasons, Liverpool have won a combined 15 league matches at Anfield. Nine came in Brendan Rodgers' first season in charge, while just six came under Kenny Dalglish. For a team with such a fabled history, a large part of which is associated with Anfield, that simply isn't good enough. Points away from home, especially against the league's better sides, are anything but guaranteed, but results at Anfield needed to be better if talk of improvement was going to become reality.
This season has been far better in that regard, with 10 wins already and only five points dropped between the loss to Southampton and the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa a few weeks ago. They're yet to face the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, or Spurs, all fixtures that could go a long way in determining whether or not Liverpool finish in the top four, but with wins over Manchester United and Everton, it at least looks as though they're getting back to their best in front of the home supporters.
It's a trend fullback Jon Flanagan highlighted in the build-up to tomorrow afternoon's kickoff against Arsenal, in which Liverpool will hope to use the home advantage to erase some nasty memories from the reverse fixture:
"We are enjoying playing at home in front of our fans. We are playing really well at home and hopefully we can go out and get a result on Saturday. Our fans are going to be massive again for us. They have got to play their part as they always do, but on Saturday we'll be ready and hopefully we can get the win. All of the team are working hard just to get the results. We know how important the top four is for this club to be in, but we are just working hard and we hope that can continue."
Despite being the hosts, Liverpool won't necessarily be favorites; their struggles at the Emirates earlier in the season and Arsenal's continued impressive form both home and away probably give the league leaders the upper hand. But there is something about Liverpool at Anfield that feels different, even through the wobbles against Southampton and Villa. It's an important match with significant implications, and if the hosts manage to produce in a manner similar to displays against United and Everton, they've got every chance of getting all three points.