Make or break week ahead for Reds

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    Klopp ponders the crucial run of games in the week ahead

    The next seven days could, and probably will, define the season for the Liverpool squad.

    First up is a crunch Europa League fixture against German club Augsburg at Anfield on Thursday evening with the tie balanced finely at 0-0 after last week’s drab stalemate at the WWK Arena.

    Klopp has set his sights on European success this season in the competition and it is imperative that his side up their game for the clash against the Bundesliga outfit.

    There are cup final places to play for – but there are also injuries to be avoided – in the following game that is Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.

    A victory in the first domestic final of the season would be a massive lift to the supporters, players, club and Klopp himself. Should the German get a trophy in the cabinet less than five months into his reign it would quickly get a potential monkey off his back.

    It would also quieten down the nonsensical talk that has started to crop up from opposition fans, and short-sighted Reds, that the former Borussia Dortmund is a failure because he hasn’t overseen a rise into the top four already.

    Klopp took over a side from Brendan Rodgers that lacked balance, leadership, experience and basic quality. He can’t score the goals or save the shots at the other end himself – he needs the players on the pitch to do that.

    Should the forty-eight year old German lift the Capital One Cup on Sunday afternoon it will be a big lift to everyone associated with Liverpool Football Club and should not be underestimated.

    Klopp brought a feel good factor with him when he swept into Anfield in a charismatic wave in early October and seeing his grinning face at Wembley after full-time on Sunday would be a great sight for any fan.

    It won’t be a disaster if he doesn’t oversee a victory, but it would represent a disappointment that he couldn’t build another big wave to ride through to the end of the season on.

    The club hasn’t been collecting trophies at rates some of the older support will remember from the seventies and eighties, so any piece of silverware coming into the cabinet would be fantastic to see.

    The Europa League would be a brilliant success to pull off this season – not least because it would add entry into the Champions League next season. The club last played in a European final back in 2007 when AC Milan gained some revenge for their defeat in Istanbul in 2005 and it would be superb to see Klopp steer this side to Basel this season.

    Defeating a very ordinary Augsburg side would not have been an issue for Rafa Benitez’s side of 2007, but this squad is not in the same bracket as that one and people need to remember what Klopp has got to work with – and how many injuries have held up his progress.

    The return of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho could not have come at a better time with this crunch week ahead and they will be crucial if we want to beat Augsburg to progress in Europe, overcome City to pick up a trophy and then beat them again at Anfield in the Premier League next week to round off this make or break week.

    Strap in for what is certain to be an interesting trio of games ahead in the coming seven days.

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