To say Liverpool are in a slump is putting it very kindly, but a European adventure could set things right.
With only two wins from their last eight matches and a slew of injury problems, Jurgen Klopp’s side is in freefall. Every match in the Premier League has carried a palpable sense of dread for Liverpool fans all over the world.
However, there could just be respite around the corner.
Respite in the form of Liverpool’s favourite competition. The Champions League. So often, it’s European runs, not title challenges that have been the defining mark of a season for Liverpool in recent years.
With Two Champions League finals and a Europa League final in under six years, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool knows how to win knockout matches.
Now Liverpool can take a break from the Premier League to do battle with RB Leipzig in Budapest on Tuesday. The Champions League is different from the Premier League in that a one-off great performance can be all the difference.
This is what Liverpool needs right now. One impressive, convincing performance in the Champions League could pave their way to the next round. A boost like this could also change the context of Liverpool’s form completely.
For those who have watched Liverpool recently, it’s obvious there’s a psychological issue. As soon as a goal is conceded, standards drop across the board. The capitulations against Leicester City and Manchester City followed the same pattern.
They played fairly well for the first 65 minutes before a second-half goal triggered a full-scale collapse.
For an issue like this, sometimes a confidence boost is all that’s needed. Of course, to beat RB Leipzig is not an easy thing. They’ve been the second-best side in Germany this season, and in Julian Nagelsmann, they have one of the most talented coaches in Europe.
However, this Liverpool team, despite recent results and their injuries is good enough to beat this Leipzig side. For the trophy it represents, as much as the psychological boost a win will provide, this is Liverpool’s most important match of the season.