18 June 2012

LFC Fixtures 2012-13

I've gotten in trouble for posting the actual fixture list before (the only DMCA notice I've received, in fact), so a link to LFC.tv's official page will have to suffice.

However, I think it's safe to post the fixture list like this:

A few notes:

• That's a hellish start to the season. Granted, they're all home games, but three of Brendan Rodgers' first five Premiership matches with Liverpool will be against last season's top three sides – City, Arsenal, and United – with trips to West Brom (hi Steve Clarke) and Sunderland sandwiched in-between.

• Matches against Chelsea, Newcastle, and Everton – the three sides directly above Liverpool in last season's table – come in quick succession both at the end of October/beginning of November and end of April/beginning of May. It feels pretty safe to say those stretches will go a long way in defining Liverpool's season.

• Liverpool won't play a side that finished above them in last season's table away from Anfield until October 27, the ninth match of the season. It's also the Merseyside Derby – the tenth season in a row that the trip to Goodison will come before Everton's trip to Anfield.

• Liverpool's matches after international breaks: Sunderland (A), Reading (H), Wigan (H), WBA (H), and Aston Villa (A). Sunderland, Reading, and Villa come after World Cup qualifiers, West Brom and Villa after midweek friendlies. Not quite a murderer's row, and, on paper, a far easiest slate than we've seen in recent seasons. But I'll caution that most of those teams have far fewer international players than Liverpool do.

• Given Liverpool's all-too-frequent struggles during the winter months, it's not very comforting to see that Liverpool are away from home for Boxing Day and the next match – at Stoke and QPR – followed by January visits to United and Arsenal before a February 2nd match at Manchester City. Yikes.

• Liverpool start the season on the road, as happened in every campaign during Rafa Benitez's reign, in contrast to beginning the last two campaigns at Anfield – which ended with draws against Sunderland and Arsenal. Liverpool have two wins, five draws, and one loss in season openers since 2004-05.

• A word of warning: many of the match dates currently listed will change. Liverpool will play an awful lot of Sunday and Monday matches this season because of the Europa League. Liverpool will begin that campaign at the third qualifying round, which takes place August 2 and 9. The play-off round is August 23 and 30, and if Liverpool qualify, the six group stage matches will take place on September 20, October 4, October 25, November 8, November 22, and December 6. The games that would follow those Europa League matches are Manchester City (H), Arsenal (H), United (H), Stoke (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (A), Swansea (A), and West Ham (A). Yikes. Again.


drew said...

I dunno, just seems like with where LFC are as a club, plus breaking in a new manager and all, that any schedule is sort of a Yikes proposition. The start is tough, sure, and the post Europa-group matches (knock on wood), but if it wasn't then it'd be after int'l weeks, or some other terrible time.

If we've learned anything the last few years it ought to be that the worse the opposition, the more infuriating / numbing the eventual draw (or loss...) will be.

nate said...

Agreed, but whenever I see the fixture list, I check four things.

• What's the start look like?
• What's the dreaded winter period look like?
• When are the international breaks?
• What are the post-Europe games?

Three of those four ended with an "eek." The post-internationals schedule is thankfully light – although, as last season proved and as you wrote, the worse the opposition, the more infuriating the inevitable let-down – but otherwise, kind of scary. Tough start, which Rodgers definitely doesn't need. Tough winter, which is inevitable, but still unwelcome. And a murderer's row post-Europa League, which will require two different teams if Liverpool ended up progressing in that competition. And we spent a fair amount of time last season bitching about squad depth. So, yeah, probably worrisome regardless, but still worrisome all the same.

Phil said...

The one caveat to the fixtures after the Europa League dates would be that City, Arsenal, United and Chelsea would have played mid-week champions league games as well. Still though, the schedule isn't doing us any favors.