Manchester United pose serious Liverpool threat that Thiago Alcantara can cure – Liverpool Echo

Liverpool recorded a record away win in the top flight against Crystal Palace. Was that a statement to the rest of the Premier League that the Reds are still favourites to retain the title?

A 7-0 win is definitely a statement result – one our rivals will have certainly taken note of.

Of course, with the performances we’ve seen so far this season, it’s understandable why so many are making us favourites to lift the trophy once again.

But, we’ve experienced first hand the sort of mad results a season behind closed doors will throw up and I personally believe things will be a lot more open this time around.

We’ve already suffered some serious injury blows this season, which means we simply cannot get too comfortable with our position as a few more injuries to key players could lead to a poor run of results.

Saying that, this side have coped incredibly well with the loss of Van Dijk and Gomez, we’ve been without Alisson for extended periods, we’ve lost both new signings in Thiago and now Jota, to name only a few – yet we’re sitting top of the table at Christmas.

No doubt we’re favourites, but that means nothing until we actually deliver.

Roberto Firmino scored the winner in the FIFA Club World Cup final just over a year ago, and he looked to be in similarly good form over the weekend. How important is it that that continues for Jurgen Klopp moving forward?

Firmino’s form has come under a lot of criticism this season, and rightfully so. Since the restart, he looked well off the pace, but he’s turned things around drastically since his goal against Leicester and it seems he’s got his confidence back.

A free-scoring Firmino is only a good thing for Klopp and this Liverpool side; it only makes us stronger when the entirety of the front three are contributing with goals.

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It goes without saying how important the Brazilian is to us: when he’s playing well, the entire team seem to play a lot better, so Klopp will be delighted with his current form.

Liverpool are starting to get a few players back from injury. Who are you most excited about getting fit again, and how much of a difference will Thiago, Keita, Shaqiri, Chamberlain and the rest make?

It was great to see Chamberlain get his first minutes of the season, but I think I can speak for a lot of Liverpool supporters when I say it’s Thiago we’re all waiting for.

We’ve seen glimpses, take his performance against Everton for example, of just what he can do and how seamlessly he can dictate a game.

With how well our midfield are currently operating in his absence, adding him to the equation will only make us better and hopefully, he can reach similar heights for us, as he did at Bayern Munich.

For Naby, Ox and Shaqiri, the key will be staying fit. It’s all well and good for them to regain fitness and make a couple of appearances, but it’s never too long before they’re back on the sidelines.

Roy Keane claimed over the weekend that Manchester United could be the closest challengers to Liverpool this season. Do you agree? Who else might be able to challenge at the top?

In fairness, United have quietly gone about their business this season as most of us have highlighted Spurs and City as our title contenders.

But, with a game in hand, Ole’s side could move themselves to just two points behind us, which isn’t a bad place for them to be in and their recent result against Leeds United has highlighted the quality they have.

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I think for most teams looking to challenge Liverpool this season, it will come down to consistency.

Spurs went from top of the table to fifth in the space of a week, which shows how quickly things can change and currently, only the Reds look like they can sustain a serious run of results.

Liverpool don’t play again until the day after Boxing Day, when Sam Allardyce and West Brom come to Anfield. How much will that extra rest help Klopp ahead of another busy period heading into the New Year?

Klopp has made no secret of his frustrations at fixture congestion, so getting knocked out of the League Cup is probably a blessing in disguise for him as those fixtures take place midweek.

A week to prepare will have given the squad some much-needed rest and an opportunity for some players, predominantly Thiago, to return to training and hopefully put themselves into contention to feature on Sunday.

The January transfer window is nearly upon us. What do Liverpool need to do there – if anything – in order to maintain their place at the top of the Premier League and progress in the Champions League?

It’s difficult to tell whether the club will actually look to sign anyone, especially given they’re not one to panic buy.

However, given the lack of a replacement for Dejan Lovren in the summer and the defensive injuries we’ve suffered this season, it’s hard to justify not signing a centre back in January.

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We’ve found ourselves short of defenders on numerous occasions before, not just in the past few months, so it feels like an absolute necessity.

Only the club know the rough time frames on Van Dijk and Gomez’ returns, but an injury to Fabinho (which has already happened this season) could cause us some serious problems.

We can get away with playing youngsters alongside Fabinho, given his quality, but without him, it’s likely too big of an ask for players with so little experience.

Matip is also incredibly injury prone, so signing a defender makes absolute sense, but I feel like the likelihood of us doing any business in January remains slim.