The December 9th Champions League clash between Liverpool FC and FC Basel is a solid barometer of whether or not LFC is capable of finding their form, and proving that they belong in Europe. Liverpool’s 2-2 draw away at Ludogorets last week was an improvement, but certainly disappointing, but LFC is still alive and master of their Champions League fate thanks to Christiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid downing FC Basel. (It is always weird to type the words “thanks to Christiano Ronaldo.” I’m pretty sure as a LFC fan, I’ll never get used to that).
As sub par as LFC has been in the group, coupled with Real Madrid’s dominance, the slugfest between the other three teams has Liverpool possibly advancing. If Liverpool wins the match at home next Tuesday versus FC Basel, they advance to the final 16.
Brendan Rodgers knows there is building pressure for him to deliver results. The Guardian was great to point out, while pundits have started talking about his possible sacking, seven months ago he was LMA Manager of the Year. Rodgers is giving everything he has to hold on to the helm at Liverpool.
“I will fight for my life to be here for as long as I can,” Rodgers said to The Guardian. “You never like seeing or hearing things like you are the bookies’ favourite to get the sack when six months ago I was manager of the year but that is modern football. All I can do is my best and I will continue to do my best.”
“While I do that I can relax knowing that whenever that time comes from the owners, whether it is in one month or 10 years, I will walk out of here knowing I have given my absolute all to give the club what it wants. I am happy with that.”
This weekend’s 1-0 victory over Stoke at home was certainly something to be thankful for. Glen Johnson’s header gave LFC the results it needed, but their place in the EPL table is still far below where they expected themselves to be at this point in the season. Liverpool has not even come close to the form they had last season. The Irish Independent had a backpage article entitled, “With no Luis Suarez, Liverpool Has Lost Their Bite.” Clever word play by the IE for sure, but our squad is still alive in the Champions League hunt. LFC is still within realistic reach of the top four by season’s end.
Keep in mind, LFC gets Daniel Sturridge back after the holiday break. Rickie Lambert is proving his case to be more involved with every start. Kolo Toure and Leiva Lucas helped LFC in the defensive department immensely. Even Simon Miglonet had a commanding clean sheet performance as a s strong presence between the sticks. This could be the turning point LFC fans were waiting for.
Do you think Liverpool has a shot of making the Champions League final 16? Do you think Brendan Rodgers can use this weekend’s positive result as the starting point to turn this season around? The Anfield Shop wants to know what you think via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlog plus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop
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