Just when it had started to feel as though Liverpool might be on their way back up, a humbling 1-0 defeat to then last place Bournemouth and being knocked out of Europe by Real Madrid put the Reds back where they’ve been most of the season: dealing with at least as much down as up. Now, after two weeks to stew with the international break, they’re back in action as Premier League football returns with Liverpool against Manchester City in the dreaded early kickoff of another matchweek.
For their part, City have won four of their past five domestically but remain eight points off surprise leaders Arsenal—but with Pep Guardiola’s Citizens holding a game in hand. On paper, this is a hard one to feel very confident about for Liverpool fans, and things don’t get any easier with Chelsea mid-week and then Arsenal next weekend. If the Reds are to have any chance of finishing in the top four they probably need a winning record in these next three games, starting on Saturday with City.