By James Miller – @JamesMillernews
The fixtures for 2019/20 Premier League season have officially been released, with Liverpool being handed a testing run-in.
Liverpool will open the new season with a favourable Friday night fixture against newly-promoted Championship champions Norwich City. In contrast, the end of the season will not please too many associated with the club.
A difficult away trip to the North East for a clash with Newcastle United awaits the Reds on the final day of the new season. Should it be anything like the last meeting then it will prove a difficult game, but one with huge importance in the title race.
Not only is that a stern test, but in addition, Jürgen Klopp will be tasked with preparing his squad accordingly to handle the challenge of facing two ‘top six’ teams in the final three matches.
In the final month of the season, the Reds will face what could be a daunting trip – depending on the situation at the time – to the Emirates on May 2, which will then be followed by a final Anfield appearance of the campaign against Chelsea, just a week later.
Looking back on last season’s performances in those games only two points were dropped out of nine, those being on the road at the Emirates in a 1-1 draw. However, Newcastle away was certainly far from straightforward in a game that was part of last season’s run in also.
Divock Origi, a familiar, heroic figure, managed to secure three points after heading home Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross late on. In fairness, Chelsea was arguably the most comfortable of the three with a solid 2-0 win earned. It’s fair to say the main issue is of course the close proximity in which the games are set to take place.
As most people will be aware, the final few fixtures in the season do often tend to be long and gruelling, especially with the added worry of potential injuries following a physically demanding schedule.
Having already confirmed several departures, including high profile names such as Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno along with the expectation that more could follow, it is essential that Klopp develops his squad so that are capable to cope with heavy demands.
Currently, with the squad set as it is, there are areas that do need slightly improving to add extra depth. An extra face at left back along with the potential of a new flexible forward would be welcome additions.