The rhythm of the football season in England and many of Europe’s other top leagues has a familiar pattern to it, kicking off in August with one league game a week before an early international break. Then, the players return and things start to get busy.
Group stage play in the European competitions kicks off. The domestic cups start to ramp up. One game a week becomes two or sometimes even three every seven days. All serving to make August seem something of a warm-up for what’s to come. An appetizer.
“It will be tough but we’re ready for this,” Liverpool’s Fabinho said of the increasing fixtures. “I didn’t go to the national team so it will be almost two weeks without playing, so I want to play again. I want to play in the Premier League and the Champions League.
“I’m excited for this moment, we will play each three days, so everyone needs to be ready. The manager will need every player. The mentality of the group is really good, everyone is ready for this, everyone is in good shape. So we’re very excited for this moment.”
A trip to Leeds on Sunday in the league is followed by hosting AC Milan on Wednesday in the Champions League, then Crystal Palace visit Anfield on Saturday before Norwich host the Reds in the League Cup on Tuesday, adding up to four games in seven days.
And for this Liverpool side, there will be a belief—and expectation—for turning those four games into four wins to advance in England’s second domestic cup competition, get off to a good start in Europe, and add six more league points to their early tally.
“It’s a good start,” Fabinho added of what the Reds have done so far and hope to build on as the fixture list gets more congested. “In the first two games we had two victories and that was important; an away win and then winning the first game at home as well.
“The third game we played against Chelsea—one of the strongest teams in the league, the European champions—so it was a hard game but I think we played really well, we played a really good game. We didn’t win the game but there were a lot of positive things.
“It will be hard this season, a lot of teams are really strong. We will often have tough games like that but we are ready for this. It’s not easy but we have to be ready for everything.”