Liverpool cannot lead the Premier League on Christmas Day, so the best present their fans can wish for is victory at neighbours Everton in Monday’s 227th Merseyside derby.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were top of the table briefly last month, but seem to have overcome the stumble since then that caused them to lose significant ground on current leaders Chelsea.
Klopp made a big call by dropping goalkeeper Loris Karius after uncertain performances against Bournemouth and West Ham United.
He was rewarded at Middlesbrough on Wednesday as Simon Mignolet kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory that moved Liverpool back up to second place.
Adam Lallana was also a significant factor in that victory, scoring twice to take his goal total to three in two matches since his return to the starting line-up following a groin problem.
Lallana has established himself as one of the English top division’s most threatening attacking players, with six assists to go with his six Premier League goals.
That is a significant improvement for a player who managed only four league goals and six assists over the whole of last season.
Liverpool have found ways to share the goals around. They went into the weekend as the Premier League’s top scorers, with 40 goals from 16 matches.
Considering the fitness problems of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, it is of great encouragement to Klopp.
Striker Sturridge may be able to play some part at Goodison Park after missing the last five matches with a calf injury.
But Brazilian playmaker Coutinho’s ankle injury, sustained against Sunderland last month, will keep him out until at least the visit of Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.
Emre Can could return to the midfield after a two-game absence with a minor knee problem.