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Liverpool’s Nearly Perfect November Makes Way For Chaotic December

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Reds buckle in for an historically busy December.

Liverpool FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Looking Back - November


Liverpool bagged a perfect 12 out of 12 points in the league over the past month, winning all four of their Premier League matches, including against their main title rivals, Manchester City, just before the November international break. In fact the respectable six point cushion they enjoyed at the top of the table when November began has widened to eight points — and a full 11 above Manchester City, who are sitting in third.

The only result that marred an otherwise perfect month came in the Champions League, where Liverpool failed to beat Napoli at home in their penultimate group stage game. That means that, while the Reds remain at the top of Group E with 10 points, they did not manage to qualify for the knockout round yet.

Last month, we asked you to predict who would be Liverpool’s top goal scorer in November, and 65% of you correctly guessed that it would be Sadio Mané. Mané added three more goals to his tally in November, getting eight so far in the league to add to his two Champions League strikes and two UEFA Super Cup goals.

The 12 goals Liverpool scored in all competitions in November were otherwise evenly distributed amongst the team. Notably, Roberto Firmino managed to break his goal drought when he scored the late winner against Crystal Palace.

Here’s how the goals broke down in all competitions:

  • Sadio Mané - 3
  • Virgil van Dijk - 2
  • Dejan Lovren - 1
  • Mohamed Salah - 1
  • Fabinho - 1
  • Gini Wijnaldum - 1
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 1
  • Andy Robertson - 1

Two of their league games — against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa — were won by goals that came in the 85th minute or later. While that’s a positive thing, it also points to the glaring problem in the team at the moment: they can’t seem to keep a clean sheet. The last time they managed the feat was on September 20th, which means it’s been a two solid months since the defense has kept the ball out of Alisson’s net.

The Reds allowed one goal in each of their six games in November, and though it only cost them points in the 1-1 draw against Napoli, it’s still a troubling trend.

Rectifying that won’t get any easier with Fabinho picking up an injury against Napoli and being out until the new year. Joel Matip, meanwhile, spent all of November out of the team due to a knee injury, with no end in sight. And a few days before the season’s first Merseyside derby, Alisson Becker received a straight red card for handling the ball outside of the box. That means Adrian will be in goal when the Toffees take the walk to Anfield on Wednesday.

(Note: if you got here through Google AMP or Apple News, you’ll need to open this page from the main site to see the following poll.)

Poll

Who was Liverpool’s best player in November?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Sadio Mané
    (46 votes)
  • 15%
    Virgil van Dijk
    (14 votes)
  • 20%
    Fabinho
    (19 votes)
  • 11%
    Trent Alexander-Arnold
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    Someone else
    (2 votes)
92 votes total Vote Now

Looking Forward - December


You thought the holiday season was busy before? Well, buckle in, because Liverpool are set to play nine games in four different competitions over the month of December. They’ll try to keep their momentum going with four more league games, starting off with the Merseyside derby this Wednesday. Aside from the local rivalry, the big league match to look out for will be the Reds’ trip to King Power Stadium on Boxing Day to face a rampant Leicester City.

They will also have their final Champions League group stage game against Red Bull Salzburg. It would have been nice to field some of the B team and give a few starters a rest, but since they only drew against Napoli, a defeat against Salzburg would likely mean a trip down to the Europa League. So expect Klopp to pick the best team available to him for that pivotal match.

Then, in an entirely new twist, half of the team will remain in England to battle it out with Aston Villa in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, while the other half, along with Klopp, will travel to Qatar for the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match that kicks off 24 hours later. If they win that one, then they’re face off in the final. If they lose, then it’s the consolation match instead.

Poll

How far will Liverpool go in the Club World Cup?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Lose in the semis and the third place game
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Lose in the semis but win the third place game
    (0 votes)
  • 5%
    Win the semis and lose the final
    (5 votes)
  • 93%
    All the way, baby
    (87 votes)
93 votes total Vote Now

Liverpool’s full December schedule:

Wednesday, Dec 4th - Everton (h) (Premier League)
Saturday, Dec 7th - AFC Bournemouth (a) (Premier League)
Tuesday, Dec 10th - FC Salzburg (a) (Champions League)
Saturday, Dec 14th - Watford (h) (Premier League)
Tuesday, Dec 17th - Aston Villa (h) (Carabao Cup quarter-final)
Wednesday, Dec 18th - Quarter-final winner (Qatar) (Club World Cup semi-final)
Saturday, Dec 21st - Final or third place match (Qatar) (Club World Cup)
Thursday, Dec 26th - Leicester City (a) (Premier League)
Sunday, Dec 29th - Wolves (h) (Premier League)

Just...go ahead and take a moment to let that sink in. When you’re done, let’s try to predict the future in the poll down below.

Poll

Sadio Mané has 12 goals in all competitions so far this season. How many goals will he have by the end of December?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    12
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    13
    (1 vote)
  • 5%
    14
    (3 votes)
  • 25%
    15
    (15 votes)
  • 45%
    16
    (27 votes)
  • 20%
    Another amount I’ll tell you in the comments
    (12 votes)
59 votes total Vote Now

Now it’s your turn to sound off in the comments. Liverpool have the chance to win a trophy and progress in two other cups this month. They’ll also face Leicester City, the team currently in second place behind them in the league. How will the team fare? Will they continue their winning streak in the league, or do you expect them to falter due to the onslaught of games?