Liverpool FC Season 2013
Liverpool have one of the most prestigious histories in European football, but silverware has not been finding its way to their trophy cabinet too often over the past few seasons. But with Brendan Rodgers at the helm, instilling a new football philosophy which may take time to implement fully, the Reds seem to at least be back on the right track towards rediscovering some of their past glory days. The Premier League this season has been a struggle for them, going through a rough patch early on, however, slowly but surely they have clawed their way up to a position of putting themselves in with a chance of a top six finish. That was something they failed to do in the 2011/12 season, ending up down in eighth spot. There is little chance of them taking a Premier League title this season; however, a competitive second half of the season could even see them challenge for a top four spot.
That may be the best that Liverpool can achieve this season, but at least it would be a result which puts them back in European competition next season. For this season they have had to entertain themselves in the Europa League, and they came through a tricky group in top spot. Despite finishing on level points with both Russian powerhouses Anzhi Makhachkala and surprise Swiss challengers Young Boys, Liverpool’s head to head record against them both was enough to clinch top spot. That put the Reds through to the knockout stage, where they were drawn against another Russian club, Zenit St Petersburg. Both former winners of the UEFA Cup, the two sides will be going into unknown territory against each other, having never squared up before. Liverpool have taken five wins from nine previous European matches against Russian opponents though.
Victory in the Europa League for Liverpool, who aren’t one of the front runners, but could make for some superb value in the outright winner market, could be key to getting them back into the winning mentality. Liverpool last lifted the UEFA Cup back in 2001, overshadowed by their Champions League victory in 2005. But not since the final of the 2006 FA Cup have Liverpool gotten their hands on a trophy. So a repeat of that success remains their only realistic chance of silverware on the domestic front. Liverpool opened their FA Cup account this season with a 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez courting more controversy for himself striking a crucial second goal after controlling the ball with his hand.
But that could be the kind of luck that could have their name written all over the cup. Should it come, then it will be Luis Suarez who fires them to victory. The Uruguayan who had a prolific first half of the season, will be key to Liverpool’s chances of success. Carrying most of the burden of the club’s goalscoring on his shoulders, he has responded and makes a strong candidate to challenge for Top Goalscorer in both the Premier League and the FA Cup too. The Reds may have more building to do before they taste Premier League success, but there could still be some cheer in the season for them.