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Is Jurgen Klopp going to be able to get Liverpool back on track?

It’s been a tough couple of months for Liverpool.

Hull City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Liverpool's long swoon of form continues marching on, and it's reached a boiling point in the fan base. Frustration levels are high, to the point where some fans — albeit those of a more extreme element — are even calling for the dismissal of Jurgen Klopp.

No matter how you feel about him, though, it's obvious that the year-long honeymoon period between Klopp and the Liverpool fan base has come to an end. Expectations are still sky-high, but their periodic bouts of poor form keep undoing all the work done when the team gets hot, and it's left Liverpool continuously far short of those expectations.

But as ESPNFC's David Hirshey points out, Klopp's track record is a strong indicator that he can not only pull Liverpool out of this too-long swoon, but that he can, with time, make them a much more consistent side as well.

That track record will be put to a firm test this weekend, with a visit from in-form Tottenham Hotspur on the cards, a matchup that represents an interesting comparison to Liverpool.

The style employed by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is not at all dissimilar to that of Klopp's: a hard, high press that moves the ball quickly and plays as disruptively as possible. The biggest difference between the two teams is how they were built — Tottenham focused on building from the back forward and have a strong defense and spine as a result, where Liverpool's focus was up front. They can kick out a hellacious attack as a result, but at the cost of a woefully inconsistent ability to stand up to a team looking to control the pace of play in some form or other.

How Liverpool perform and appear this weekend will be extremely telling as to how things can go for them over the next several months — a strong performance could see them propel themselves up the table, but a poor showing might be the final straw that ultimately knocks them out of any serious contention of being a top-four team this season, even if the gap wouldn't be very big for now. There's a lot on the line, and now it's time to see how Klopp and the Liverpool squad respond.

In the news

The British Parliament issued an official vote of no confidence in the English FA. (Guardian)

Luis Suarez will miss the Copa del Rey final for Barcelona after the appeal against his two-match suspension was rejected. (ESPNFC)

A young and terminally ill Sunderland fan was visited by his favorite players. (BBC)

Pochettino thinks that Dele Alli can be Tottenham's captain in the future. (Mirror)

Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri has vehemently denied reports that he's in line to be the next Juventus boss, but the paper that reported the rumor stands by what it said. (Football Italia)

Arsenal are reportedly preparing for life without Arsene Wenger, who they think may leave this summer. (Telegraph)

Diego Maradona has landed a job with FIFA, though what he's doing is still unclear. (BBC)

You should be reading

Andi Thomas looks at just what Claudio Ranieri is facing now that he's been given the Dreaded Vote Of Confidence by Leicester City.

Richard Foster encourages anyone looking for a new football experience to check out Mexico's Liga MX. (Guardian)

Elena Chiara Mitrani looks at just how very human the story of former Ireland international Tony Cascarino is. (Unusual Efforts)

What to watch on Friday (click for listings, all times ET)

Serie A: Napoli vs. Genoa (2:45 p.m.): Napoli are in white-hot form, and they need another big win as they prepare to face Real Madrid in the Champions League next week.

Ligue 1: Bordeaux vs. Paris Saint-Germain (2:45 p.m.): Things still aren't looking stellar for PSG right now, who continue to trail Monaco while looking far off the kind of form and quality that saw them dominate France for years.