Navigating the next 7 matches - rotation options.

RedForever2014

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#1
As we all know, after the international break we've seven crucial matches to navigate before the next break.

We'll have to see who comes back from the international break unscathed, but it's clear that some rotation will be necessary.

Personally I think we'll have to use squad players en masse in the League Cup and take our chances. It's the least important competition, whilst blending fit first choice players with squad players lacking match fitness can cause injuries, when players have to stretch for misplaced passes from those finding their feet.

So what do people think we should do?

Spurs, 9/15, away:

All being well with injuries, the Spurs game requires our strongest defence and attack and a balanced midfield.

There's an argument for giving Fabinho a go at right back, as TAA hasn't been convincing so far this season, though maybe TAA should get another chance in the name of defensive stability.

In midfield, I'd have Henderson at 6 despite his poor performance at Leicester, hopefully he'll be a bit more match fit after the England matches. The midfield three didn't work well at Leicester and Gini does often go missing away from home, so I'd play Keita and Milner with Hendo.

Team: Alisson, TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Milner, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

PSG, 9/18, home:

I'd go with the same 11 as against Spurs, except for bringing Gini in for Milner for some fresh midfield legs. I'd consider giving Fabinho a start at right back, as he knows PSG, but would probably hold him back another match.

Team: Alisson, TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Gini, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

Southampton, 9/22, home:

To keep energy in the side, I'd rotate a couple of defenders, a forward and maybe a midfielder.

I'd probably start Shaqiri instead of Salah, give Fabinho his first 90 at right back, play Moreno at left back and bring Milner back in for Henderson and use Gini at 6.

Team: Alisson, Fabinho, Gomez, VVD, Moreno, Gini, Keita, Milner, Shaqiri, Mane, Firmino.

Chelsea (League Cup), 9/26, home:

I'd play an entire second string, with Fabinho in defensive midfield, to give us a look at him there. I'd play Lallana alongside him, or a 1-2 with Lallana and Shaqiri as the 2.

Very attack minded, but I'm sure Origi and Solanke could press high from wide positions and work back.

The bench would be entirely the youngsters.

Team: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Fabinho, Lallana, Shaqiri, Solanke, Origi, Sturridge.

Chelsea (Premier League), 9/29, away:

Obviously by this point there's a possibility of injuries or form dictating the side, a player or two having done well and deserving their place, or carrying a knock.

For me I'd expect us to go back to the strongest 11, although given Chelsea's midfield we'd maybe have Fabinho at 6, Henderson a bit more advanced pressing and Keita alongside.

Team: Alisson, TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

Napoli, 10/3, away:

We'll need to get something away at Napoli, but with City to come and the end of this sequence in sight, we could rotate one or two of the best 11.

I'd consider playing Fabinho at right back to give TAA a break before facing City and rest a forward. We might want to rest a centre back too.

Team: Alisson, Fabinho, Lovren, VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Milner, Salah, Shaqiri, Firmino.

Man City, 10/7, home:

We need to take more than 10 points from 30 against the top 6 to have a shout at the title, so have to start off with a win if possible.

I'd go with the strongest 11, save for any form/injury variations.

Team: Alisson, TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Milner, Salah, Mane, Firmino.
 
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Limiescouse

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#2
Fabinho was not bought to be a RB, and we should not read too much into him being selected there for Brazil. Firstly, Brazil have few options playing at a high level. Secondly, if you take Tite's selection of Luis at LB over Marcello, it looks like he eschewing the traditional Brazilian attacking fullbacks in favour or more traditionally defensively solid ones as a way to accommodate the more traditionally Brazilian side he is trying to put together further ahead. That is not conducive to what Klopp is trying to achieve with this team. Nor is using a guy in one position while trying to get him used to the specific demands of a different position.
 

RedForever2014

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#3
Fabinho was not bought to be a RB, and we should not read too much into him being selected there for Brazil. Firstly, Brazil have few options playing at a high level. Secondly, if you take Tite's selection of Luis at LB over Marcello, it looks like he eschewing the traditional Brazilian attacking fullbacks in favour or more traditionally defensively solid ones as a way to accommodate the more traditionally Brazilian side he is trying to put together further ahead. That is not conducive to what Klopp is trying to achieve with this team. Nor is using a guy in one position while trying to get him used to the specific demands of a different position.
Doesn't Klopp like versatility? I thought it was a feature in players he signs.

Hasn't Gini played all three midfield positions and centre back? Milner? Bobby?

Fabinho was bought ostensibly as a midfielder, but there's nothing wrong with him having 90 at right back to blood him without risking midfield dominance.
 
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#4
As we all know, after the international break we've seven crucial matches to navigate before the next break.

We'll have to see who comes back from the international break unscathed, but it's clear that some rotation will be necessary.

Personally I think we'll have to use squad players en masse in the League Cup and take our chances. It's the least important competition, whilst blending fit first choice players with squad players lacking match fitness can cause injuries, when players have to stretch for misplaced passes from those finding their feet.

So what do people think we should do?

Spurs:

All being well with injuries, the Spurs game requires our strongest defence and attack and a balanced midfield.

There's an argument for giving Fabinho a go at right back, as TAA hasn't been convincing so far this season, though maybe TAA should get another chance in the name of defensive stability.

In midfield, I'd have Henderson at 6 despite his poor performance at Leicester, hopefully he'll be a bit more match fit after the England matches. The midfield three didn't work well at Leicester and Gini does often go missing away from home, so I'd play Keita and Milner with Hendo.

Team: Alisson, TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Milner, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

PSG:

I'd go with the same 11 as against Spurs, except for bringing Gini in for Milner for some fresh midfield legs. I'd consider giving Fabinho a start at right back, as he knows PSG, but would probably hold him back another match.

Team: Alisson, TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Gini, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

Southampton:

To keep energy in the side, I'd rotate a couple of defenders, a forward and maybe a midfielder.

I'd probably start Shaqiri instead of Salah, give Fabinho his first 90 at right back, play Moreno at left back and bring Milner back in for Henderson and use Gini at 6.

Team: Alisson, Fabinho, Gomez, VVD, Moreno, Gini, Keita, Milner, Shaqiri, Mane, Firmino.

Chelsea (League Cup):

I'd play an entire second string, with Fabinho in defensive midfield, to give us a look at him there. I'd play Lallana alongside him, or a 1-2 with Lallana and Shaqiri as the 2.

Very attack minded, but I'm sure Origi and Solanke could press high from wide positions and work back.

The bench would be entirely the youngsters.

Team: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Fabinho, Lallana, Shaqiri, Solanke, Origi, Sturridge.

Chelsea (Premier League):

Obviously by this point there's a possibility of injuries or form dictating the side, a player or two having done well and deserving their place, or carrying a knock.

For me I'd expect us to go back to the strongest 11, although given Chelsea's midfield we'd maybe have Fabinho at 6, Henderson a bit more advanced pressing and Keita alongside.

Team: Alisson, TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

Napoli:

We'll need to get something away at Napoli, but with City to come and the end of this sequence in sight, we could rotate one or two of the best 11.

I'd consider playing Fabinho at right back to give TAA a break before facing City and rest a forward. We might want to rest a centre back too.

Team: Alisson, Fabinho, Lovren, VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Milner, Salah, Shaqiri, Firmino.

Man City:

We need to take more than 10 points from 30 against the top 6 to have a shout at the title, so have to start off with a win if possible.

I'd go with the strongest 11, save for any form/injury variations.

Team: Alisson, TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Milner, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

I like your lineups, I think if Firmino plays more than 45 mins for Brazil on weds, he may get the first rest of the front three for the spurs game. See either a Sturridge or Shaqiri slide in. I personally like Shaq a bit more for that situation but Sturridge did link up well with Kieta during preseason. I think Mane or Salah get a rest at Southampton as well. I do tend to disagree with the Fabinho at RB stuff. I think Clyne gets a shot there ahead of Fabinho. But I also see him playing in the midfield for one of these upcoming games (possibly Southampton). With Lovren out another month we really cannot afford to lose a defender. I think Phillips gets in during the league cup and Matip spells Gomez at Southampton. It will be a really interesting month or two.
 

Mascot88

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#5
I largely agree with you on the league cup. An entire second string for me, and bollocks to it if go out. The youngsters should know that there are more appearances for them if they perform.

Aside from that...

Spurs

Aside from three points, Liverpool could lay down a real marker in this fixture, so should go strong. We don’t really want Spurs to be any of our business this year, so if there is an opportunity to put down a marker we should take it.

I see Naby coming back in for Gini, making a midfield three of Hendo, Keita and Milner. Good balance between hard work and industry.

PSG.

A little bit of freshening up, as I expect the Spurs game to be a killer. Clyne back in, Gini and Fab into midfield, and Shaq in for one of the front three.

Southampton.

Might be one to rest Robertson, Hendo and Another one of the front three. Milner to come and Fab to keep his place. Might even be a game to see Sturridge at attacking mid.

Chelsea (LC)

Rest everyone. Tea lady can get a game for all I care.

Chelsea (league)

Back to the strongest team. That should be the usual defence and attack, and whatever the best performing midfield is (perhaps Fab will have been integrated by then?)

Napoli

It would be nice to lay one on Napoli early in the group, as like with Spurs in the league it would be good to express that we should be considered in a competition with PSG for first rather than a fight with Napoli for Second. But pragmatism might have to rule. I’d take a draw to be honest. Shaq, Milner, Gini, Sturridge and Clyne all back in.

Man City

The big one. Strongest possible team, and go at them like a fucking Tasmanian Devil.

Thanks for posting this - hadn’t properly click how tough it’s about to get!
 

Serdar Ekrem İleri

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#6
It's a very tough month awaiting us but we are one of the best teams in Europe as things stand and we need to be just as good when faced with unfortunate schedules and unfortunate situations that arise during certain games.I have 100 % confidence in Klopp and our players that they'll shine at the end of this month.It's a luxurious feeling,this confidence that i have in the team.Believe me 99% of other European teams' fans would be shaking in their boots if they were to face such a tough schedule after an international break,but i'm quite comfortable because WE ARE LIVERPOOL.
 

Mascot88

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#7
Very true thing said on them Anfield Wrap this week. If you’d asked all the Pot 1 and 2 teams which Pot 3 team they’d want to avoid, all of them would have said ‘Liverpool’.

While the PSG and Napoli fixtures are going to be tough, we should remember they are a lot more worried about us than we are of them.
 

Serdar Ekrem İleri

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#8
Very true thing said on them Anfield Wrap this week. If you’d asked all the Pot 1 and 2 teams which Pot 3 team they’d want to avoid, all of them would have said ‘Liverpool’.

While the PSG and Napoli fixtures are going to be tough, we should remember they are a lot more worried about us than we are of them.
Right on the mark sir.
 

GermanRed

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#9
One game at a time...

Team selection for the next game also depends on results of the last and injuries.

Shocked to read the 'play the second string vs. Chelsea in the LC' comments. Shortest and fastest way to win some silverware - don’t care if it is the Coca Cola Cup.
 

indianscouser

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#10
I think we are in a good position now to have decent team in both UCL and EPL.

Spurs:
This is going to be a big big game, will set the trend on how we can push on. Win this one and our confidence will be sky high.
Will go with the strongest possible team.
Henderson gets the nod over Wijnaldum.
Shaquiri,Wijnaldum and Sturridge or even Origi are good options to have.
Alisson,TAA, Gomez,VVD, Robertson, Henderson,Milner,Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

PSG:
Big game this. Will swap Milner for Wijnaldum. Fresh legs.
Alisson,TAA, Gomez,VVD, Robertson, Henderson,Wijnaldum,Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

Southampton:
Need to keep the momentum going, also we need to be careful regarding fitness levels. No need to push players too much.
Will start with Shaquiri, ,Lovren. Give Fabinho some game time.
Alisson,Clyne, Lovren,VVD, Robertson, Henderson,Wijnaldum,Keita, Salah, Shaquiri, Firmino.

Chelsea (League cup):
Gets interesting. We now have a good B squad. We can rest out ace players for this one.
Mignolet,Clyne,Lovren,Matip, Fabinho,Milner,Wijnaldum, Origi,Sturridge,Shaquiri.

Chelsea (EPL):
Strongest team.
Alisson,TAA, Gomez,VVD, Robertson, Henderson,Milner,Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

Napoli:
Alisson,Clyne, Gomez,VVD, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho,Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

City:
No brainer. Best XI picks itself.
Alisson,Clyne, Gomez,VVD, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho,Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino.


In each of the above games, Shaquiri will get good mins. Easily 25-30 mins. Our front 3 will be rotated with him. I can see Lovren and Sturridge also getting good game time. All depends on what klopp sees, does he stick with Gomez or he brings back lovren.
Also, if Lallana is available that is one more option to consider.
We have a good squad, hopefully, Klopp can motivate Origi,Lallana,Clyne to really push for the first team.
VVD should start every game for us apart from the league cup. He will have a big influence.
 

Arminius

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#11
One game at a time...

Team selection for the next game also depends on results of the last and injuries.

Shocked to read the 'play the second string vs. Chelsea in the LC' comments. Shortest and fastest way to win some silverware - don’t care if it is the Coca Cola Cup.
I think both sides will be playing their second string, and I will be bitterly disappointed if we don't get past them. With the balance of the squad, I actually think we need the early season Cup games to keep some players sharp, because we will have to rotate some of the starters in order to get through the CL group. It would be great if Klopp had some options on the bench, ideal if he doesn't need them and can save them for heading to Chelsea in the PL that weekend.

But consider Chelsea's schedule - they play Thursday (EL, away to Salonika) and then Sunday (away, West Ham) before coming to Anfield Wednesday. By contrast, we are home for all three, with a Tuesday, Saturday, Wednesday sequence. One more day of rest for the middle PL fixture, one more rest day for the LC match, no travel. If they field anything but a second string, they are really not going to be in great shape at the Bridge the following weekend.
 

Billy Biskix

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#12
I don't see many unenforced changes over the next 7 games with the obvious exception of the Carabao (although the team may well be a lot stronger than some are suggesting here). There are too many tough and important games to be mixing things up unnecessarily. Still very early and JK only really got going with rotation, and got a load of stick for it, from November leading into the Christmas period last season. That all worked well as we got stronger during that spell whilst others started to drop points.

The midfield is the area where it's still not possible to say who JK sees as first choice so we might see more changes there than others but this will be more to do with JK finding the best blend rather than pure rotation. I think Fabinho will have to wait a while, certainly to start games and I would be very surprised to see him picked as RB ahead of both TAA and Clyne. Keita is the new midfielder who needs to be fast tracked because his drive and ability to create sets him apart from Gini, Henderson and Milner.

After the next international break the games start to look a bit easier on paper and I'm guessing that's when the squad will be used to full effect. For now it's about getting points on the board in both the PL and CL and laying down a marker in the games against Spurs and Chelsea where we played really poorly last season.
 

Mascot88

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#13
Shocked to read the 'play the second string vs. Chelsea in the LC' comments. Shortest and fastest way to win some silverware - don’t care if it is the Coca Cola Cup.
Shortest and fastest way to end up in a fixture pile up in January, as well.

It’s a trophy that you don’t care about in September, start to fancy if you get to the semis, and then are bloody livid if you lose the semi/final.
 

mazpool

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#14
I just hope that Klopp will be smart enough (In my point of view) and completely ignore the micky mouse cup game vs chelsea, it is pointless. this competition should not be there in the first place, if we have to participate then 2nd string at best.
Other than that, we play best team available for the other games.
 

mazpool

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#15
One game at a time...

Team selection for the next game also depends on results of the last and injuries.

Shocked to read the 'play the second string vs. Chelsea in the LC' comments. Shortest and fastest way to win some silverware - don’t care if it is the Coca Cola Cup.
I would very much prefer a fresh set of players in the second half of the season, than this trophy.
 

Mascot88

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#17
I know it would be highly unorthodox, and possibly not even allowed, but I’d let Pep Ljinders take on the league cup and keep Klopp and his first team at Melwood ticking over.
 

Arminius

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#18
That ‘weak’ League Cup team looks a bit like this btw

Mignolet
Clyne Matip Phillips Moreno
Gini Milner
Shaqiri Jones
Sturridge Origi​

Which isn’t exactly shite, is it.
Could even be Lovren and Matip as the defenders. A team like that should have a lot of players making their case for more playing time.
 

Mascot88

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#19
Could even be Lovren and Matip as the defenders. A team like that should have a lot of players making their case for more playing time.
Is Lovren out for at least another month?
 

JoseM4

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#22
Very true thing said on them Anfield Wrap this week. If you’d asked all the Pot 1 and 2 teams which Pot 3 team they’d want to avoid, all of them would have said ‘Liverpool’.

While the PSG and Napoli fixtures are going to be tough, we should remember they are a lot more worried about us than we are of them.
I'm confused by the formula but we need to get to pot 2 next year.
 

GermanRed

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#23
Yes, just saw that. I thought he was back mid-September, must have missed the last update.
With Lovren out and Matip not at 100% i can see Fabinho being used as CB at least once in the next seven games.

vs. Spurs - full strength
vs. PSG - full strength (1-2 changes to the previous game, no rest for Mané, Firmino, Salah)
vs. Saints - 2-3 changes, Shaqiri coming in
vs. Chelsea LC - 3 changes + Mignolet, Shaqiri keeps his place, Sturridge also to start
vs. Chelsea PL - full strength, MSF back together
vs. Napoli - 1-2 changes (probably a CB and a CM)
vs. City - rotating the 1-2 rested players back in -> full strength

or other:

I don't want to see a 'second string' or wholesale changes - not even a fiftyfifty Team.
- Clyne and Moreno not starting together. Just one FB being rested at once.
- at CB VvD starting 5 of the 7, Gomez 4, Matip 3 and Fabinho maybe 1
- Most rotation to happen in midfield as we have 5-7 players (Fabinho and Lallana included) for 3 positions
- Mané, Salah and Firmino are hopefully able to start 5 of the 7 together.
 

GermanRed

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#24
Sorry in advance for the double post but i think the topic of this one fits quite good because of the busy schedule.

When it looked like we will sign Shaqiri AND Fekir in the summer i was also expecting Sturridge and Origi to leave. Back then i was predicting that no youngster will have something like a breakthrough this season. Now with the 7 games until the next break can anyone see a surprise start for one of the academy boys? I can't tbh and i believe that even Solanke will find it very hard to get a start.
With the squad we have it will probably need some injuries (hopefully not) and us reaching at least quarter finals in both domestic cups to see someone from the U23 in the first team - tbh i feel a bit sorry for them. Seniors like Sturridge, Origi and Maybe Lallana too are 'blocking' them from being closer to the first Team so i hope they will be able to show their during over the course of the season.
 

RedForever2014

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#25
One game at a time...

Team selection for the next game also depends on results of the last and injuries.

Shocked to read the 'play the second string vs. Chelsea in the LC' comments. Shortest and fastest way to win some silverware - don’t care if it is the Coca Cola Cup.
I have a lot of respect for the League Cup. It was the domestic cup we won most when I started watching the reds properly in the early 80s.

But I don't see how we can field a full strength side bang in the middle of these fixtures.

We have to prioritise a good CL run, as we simply have to go deep into it, not only because of the money and prestige and chance of winning it, but also so that our coefficient increases and we get into pot 2 asap.

To have any chance of the title I think we're going to need 90 points, which means winning nearly every home match and taking much more than last season's 10 points from 30 against top 6 sides.

We need to be looking at 4 points from 6 against Spurs and City.

We've got two very tough matches, Spurs and PSG, then a home PL match which still requires our full attention to ensure three points.

Then we have the League Cup match followed by huge matches at Chelsea, a tough match at Napoli away and then City at home.

In my opinion, if our first choice players are mostly used in the Spurs, PSG and Southampton matches, they need a week off before the Chelsea, Napoli and City matches. Play any of them midweek before Chelsea and by the time the City match arrives they'll not have the energy for the pressing game we'll need.

Also, do you really want Chelsea to have the opportunity to kick lumps out of our better players just before we go to Stamford Bridge?

If Chelsea play their second string then we have to back our second string to beat them. If they play their best 11 we should see it as a chance for our second string to have a go and tire them out before the league match.

As Mascott said, our second 11 is still pretty good. Many of them were first team regulars previously, it's not like we're proposing to field a team of kids. Clyne, Matip, Moreno, Lallana, Shaqiri, Solanke, Sturridge and Origi, plus Fabinho at DM, and perhaps Philips alongside Matip, should give any Chelsea side a game.

I think the League Cup match has to be used to give game time to the squad players and I still think we have a chance regardless.

@RedForever2014 - can you include dates and home/away next to the bolded opponent names in your opening post, for a lazy a****** like me. Thx.
Unfortunately I can't edit it now, but it's basically a game every three or four days from Saturday onwards.
 



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PaulRoJo

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#26
Absolutely redforever. It's 2 lots of 3 games and we need at least 4 wins
 

Arminius

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#27
I'm confused by the formula but we need to get to pot 2 next year.
It is a 5 year moving average. Pot 1 is the eight League & Cup champions, not all of whom will be in the top 8 for coefficients. Spain, Germany, and Italy pretty reliably are, Russia never is, the others somewhere in between.

Right now, LFC is #14. There are two factors that strongly suggest we will be moving up. In the top 16, no other side has a score lower than 10 points from 14/15, which is the next year to drop out of consideration. The second will take longer to really resolve. No other team in the top 16 has a 0 in any season, which LFC has for 16/17 (that loss in the EL final hurt us badly that way).

Put in practical terms, we were 2 points shy of Pot 2 this year. We gain those 2 points on Roma simply by rolling over the 14/15 score, our 4 year score is the same as theirs right now. Top of Pot 2 this season is Dortmund, but they are declining in the coefficient, we are just 5 points behind them now. Long and short of it is that if we get through the group round this year, and qualify for the CL again next year, it is very unlikely we will not be in Pot 2.
 

Arminius

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#28

RedForever2014

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#30
Jesus Christ, the "The next (insert number) games are vital" threads are starting early this season
No, we're discussing the management of the next 7 games, which are the most important as they're up next.

It's a sensible discussion about how to use the squad in this period.

Three matches against top 6 sides, two important CL matches, a domestic cup and a home PL match that we also need to win.