This stretch of matches Liverpool face before the end of 2014--eight in the Premier League, two in the Champions League, one in the League Cup--will no doubt have a huge impact on the narrative of the rest of the season. Without Daniel Sturridge, Brendan Rodgers will have to find a way for his side to click in attack, as their hopes of edging closer to the top four, advancing to the knockout stages in Europe, and progressing in the League Cup will depend on it.
And with their strikers failing to convince, Liverpool are going to have to turn toward their supporting players in attack, which hopefully means more Adam Lallana. The former Southampton captain has been very good in spurts since getting fit, but Rodgers' hesitancy to select him with any sort of consistency has meant that he's yet to get into any sort of rhythm. For a player who seems to thrive on fluidity and understanding with his teammates going forward, that's a crucial piece, and hopefully one that's rectified in the coming weeks.
That's certainly the player's hope at least, with Lallana eyeing improvements across the board that could see them get back on track to achieving their goals for the season:
"Liverpool are a worldwide name as a football club. They've got massive history and off the back of last season, doing so well and coming so close to winning the league, there are high standards and we've not reached them yet. We're as disappointed as anyone, but we're the ones who can change that. We're determined to do that.
"We still feel we can finish in the top four. The manager has said since he came in he's felt the team has improved, but without winning a trophy, so that is definitely a target [as well]. But we don't want to look that far at the moment - we want to get back to winning ways and with the game at the weekend against Palace, it's a great chance for us to get three points and start a run."
He's likely not the answer on his own, but he's been an important part of some of Liverpool's more impressive attacking displays this season (few and far between as they may have been), and it would be foolish of Rodgers to continue to ignore him in the next month. For most of the season, Liverpool's attack has needed a player with the skillset Adam Lallana possesses, and given that he's actually, you know, a Liverpool player, it would be nice to see him given more chances to shine.