With closed games played in a sterile environment, the final weeks of the campaign will feel far removed from the first seven months in which Jurgen Klopp’s team received raucous support in Anfield and across the country.
And anyone who has logged in to observe how the Bundesliga has fared in the temporary new world, hopefully will know of another change.
Substitutions. Lots and lots of substitutions.
Under a short-term rule amendment introduced by FIFA to help complete national campaigns and reduce the risk of fatigue injuries, teams are now allowed to make up to five substitutions instead of the usual three.
The only caveat is that they can only be done in three blocks – teams cannot, for example, stop procedures five times to replace players and thereby excessively disrupt the momentum of the game and extend the game. downtime of a ridiculous amount.
How, then, did the Bundesliga teams adopt the new initiative? Statistics suggest warmly enough.
In the first 22 games since the restart, 75% of teams have used four or more substitutes. Only twice, less than three replacements have been recruited.
During his early years at Liverpool, Klopp seemed reluctant to turn to the bench with great consistency.
This may have been an indication of the team’s lack of strength at the time. Indeed, the Reds boss sadly made only two replacements in the Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid two years ago.
Things have changed considerably since then, with Liverpool having a stronger group of players with more options available.
Indeed, only four times this season has Klopp not used all of the substitutes at his disposal – the Champions League defeat at Napoli, the League Cup match against Arsenal and the Premier League home wins against West Ham United and Bournemouth.
Liverpool’s style of play, although not as high as octane in the early Klopp years, is still based on strong pressing and good physical condition.
The Reds boss should therefore use the new substitute rule, especially in the past few weeks, when his team has hopefully already obtained the six points necessary to win the club’s first title since 1990.
And while good news for a number of marginal Liverpool players to claim the new campaign early, the big winners will almost certainly be the group of youngsters who have made a breakthrough this season.
Curtis Jones, Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott have all worked with senior Melwood players since returning to group training last week.
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Jones has played in the Premier League for 19 minutes this season, Elliott in a matter of seconds and Williams, despite starting in the League Cup and FA Cup, is still waiting for his bow.
With an expected rapid rotation of games in a rush to finish the campaign in time to start the next one, the three can anticipate additional minutes where, without the additional substitutions, there might not be. All three will also be online for their first full match in the Premier League.
Goalkeeper Caomhin Kelleher and left-back Yasser Larouci, who both train at Melwood, and Ki-Jana Hoever will be among other youngsters hoping to make their claims known.
And what is clear is that the coming weeks will not only be a reward for Liverpool’s past efforts – they could accelerate a vision for the future.