Do you hear that? I can just make out the first strains of the UEFA Chamions League anthem. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Liverpool have won it six times. And what’s that I hear? Is it a dirge? Oh, it must mean that the League Cup fixtures are here as well. After a month of a relatively light schedule, Liverpool enter the first stretch of fixture congestion this season.
Liverpool will play twice a week across three competitions until the next international break in early October. The Reds start a stretch of four away games in a row with their defense as the reigning Champions of Europe (chills) this Tuesday in Napoli, followed by games at Chelsea, MK Dons, and Sheffield United.
Georginio Wijnaldum, vital midfield cog and finalist for Best Smile For Liverpool FC, believes that the team are ready for the busy stretch.
“You already know before the season that you’re going to play in a lot of competitions and that you need a squad that is fit and big because you need everyone,” said Wijnaldum. “Not every player can play all of the games so we knew it before, but I think we have to embrace it because it means that you play for a lot of prizes. We’re just trying to enjoy it and play football.”
A squad that is “fit and big” is a bit of a question mark. With Divock Origi hobbling off injured against Newcastle United, 19 year old Rhian Brewster could see himself on the bench these next few weeks. While losing Origi for an unknown period of time may test the squad depth on the attacking end, midfield reinforcements should be on the way soon in the form of Naby Keita. The Guinean international is expected to start training later next week.
The likes of Keita and Brewster, along with Xherdan Shaqiri, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, and Joe Gomez will likely have opportunities to step in and spell regular starters. Many of the reserves and potentially some youth players will likely see the field against MK Dons in the League Cup as well. The biggest question seems to be when left back Andrew Robertson will be able to get a rest.