After a horrible start to the season, optimism is starting to creep its way back into every nook and cranny at Anfield after Liverpool finished 2014 showing glimpses of the form that took them so close to the title last year.
A last-gasp and well-deserved draw against Arsenal was followed by a narrow win at Burnley, before the Reds turned on the style to destroy Swansea 4-1.
A top-four finish is still not beyond Brendan Rodgers’ side, who are 13/2 to trouble the Champions League places this term, but the manager must stick with the changes he has made of late if he wants this good form to last.
The Reds’ next game is against Leicester at Anfield, a match the hosts are just 11/25 to win even though they won’t have Jonjo Shelvey undermining the opposition for them.
Restrict his skipper to an impact role
Steven Gerrard’s place has come under increasing scrutiny as the weeks have gone by this term, with every match he’s played suggesting regular outings are beyond his ageing body.
The midfielder should still have a role in first-team duties, for his dead-ball abilities as much as anything else, but the Reds looked a far better outfit against Swansea without Gerrard in their side.
Lucas’ tenacity gives the creaky Liverpool back-four some desperately needed protection, while also freeing up Jordan Henderson – who picked up an assist against the Swans – for the engine-room role he is best suited for.
Find a place for Emre Can
After impressing, and indeed scoring, in the Reds’ 2-1 loss to Chelsea, the summer signing was then bizarrely absent from each of Rodgers’ next ten starting lineups.
Can returned against Swansea, and looked an assured presence in defence, even if that is not his natural position.
Whether he continues at the back, is used in a wingback role or is assigned duties in the middle of the park, Can must be found a regular place in the Reds’ side.
Lock down Adam Lallana’s place in his attack
Despite splashing out around £25m on the Southampton man in the summer, Rodgers has been oddly reticent to use the playmaker consistently.
Lallana has played the full 90 minutes just four times in the Premier League this term, with two of those full-match outings coming in the past three games, all of which he’s started.
Notably Liverpool have improved with each match, and the former Saints star’s two-goal turn against Swansea has to finally convince Rodgers of his merits.
The England international is now the Reds’ joint-top goalscorer in the league, while only Henderson and Raheem Sterling have provided more assists than his two.