Widely tipped as the only side in the division to deny Manchester City a hat-trick of Premier League crowns, Liverpool hasn’t exactly made onlookers sit up and take notice of it in the transfer market. While City broke the bank for a defensive midfielder and continue to bring in reinforcements, the Reds have only added two highly promising teenagers and a second-choice goalkeeper in the transfer window.
The pre-season form hasn’t been rosy either with more defeats registered than wins. Several key playersincluding Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane arrived late due to international commitments.
Manager Jurgen Klopp isn’t complaining though, after all this is almost the same squad which won the Champions League last season and only finished a point behind City in the league. Futhermore, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez are returning from long-term injuries, and will be raring to stake their claim for places in the starting XI.
Of Liverpool’s lack of investment in the transfer market, Klopp said, “In the transfer window, you have to build a team that you think you want to go into the season with. But I have that team already. If we can bring somebody else in that makes it even better, we will see. But if not, this team is already there. And again we will have to find solutions at different moments."
Klopp’s high-press, fast paced football could be susceptible to injuries over the course of a long season which will see Liverpool fight for six trophies. The German will be hoping that his team could avoid casualties along the way as it seeks its first Premier League title in 29 years.
Liverpool has a difficult start to the season as it faces Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the first 10 matches. On match day 12, it faces a visit from the champion and if it manages to come through unscathed then it could lay down the marker for what is to be expected of the side.
The Reds spirited second half showing in the penalty shoot-out defeat to City in the Community Shield was further evidence of its title credentials. Better finishing from Salah would have seen Liverpool walk out comfortable winner on the afternoon.
Salah, who is the leading goal-scorer in the league for two successive years, will be the talisman yet again with a formidable supporting cast in Firmino and Mane. The trio scored 60 per cent of the team’s goals last season. Divock Origi had his moments last season as Klopp’s plan B striker and will be expected to fill the same role again. Liverpool snapped up an exciting talent in Harvey Elliott from relegated Fulham but has so far only managed to make headlines off the pitch than on it.
Philippe Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona is continued to be felt with the reduced output from midfield and a case could be made for adding an attacking midfielder in the ranks to lighten the burden on Salah, Mane and Firmino. Naby Keita had underwhelming returns in his first season at Merseyside but is expected to add more goals in the new campaign.
Liverpool dropped points away from home against teams it was expected to put away which ultimately proved costly. A more ruthless streak this time around could further its cause in landing its coveted Premier League title.
Premier League fixtures
August 9, Liverpool v Norwich City (20:00)
August 17, Southampton v Liverpool (15:00)
August 24, Liverpool v Arsenal (15:00)
August 31, Burnley v Liverpool (15:00)
September 14, Liverpool v Newcastle United (15:00)
September 21, Chelsea v Liverpool (15:00)
September 28, Sheffield United v Liverpool (15:00)
October 5, Liverpool v Leicester City (15:00)
October 19, Manchester United v Liverpool (15:00)
October 26, Liverpool v Tottenham (15:00)
November 2, Aston Villa v Liverpool (15:00)
November 9, Liverpool v Manchester City (15:00)
November 23, Crystal Palace v Liverpool (15:00)
November 30, Liverpool v Brighton and Hove Albion (15:00)
December 4, Liverpool v Everton (20:00)
December 7, Bournemouth v Liverpool (15:00)
December 14, Liverpool v Watford ((15:00)
December 21, West Ham vs Liverpool (15:00)
December 26, Leicester City vs Liverpool (15:00)
December 28, Liverpool vs Wolves (15:00)
January 1, Liverpool vs Sheffield United (15:00)
January 11, Tottenham vs Liverpool (15:00)
January 18, Liverpool vs Manchester United (15:00)
January 21, Wolves vs Liverpool (19:45)
February 1, Liverpool vs Southampton (15:00)
February 8, Norwich City vs Liverpool (15:00)
February 22, Liverpool vs West Ham (15:00)
February 29, Watford vs Liverpool (15:00)
March 7, Liverpool vs Bournemouth (15:00)
March 14, Everton vs Liverpool (15:00)
March 21, Liverpool vs Crystal Palace (15:00)
April 4, Manchester City vs Liverpool (15:00)
April 11, Liverpool vs Aston Villa (15:00)
April 18, Brighton and Hove Albion vs Liverpool (15:00)
April 25, Liverpool vs Burnley (15:00)
May 2, Arsenal vs Liverpool (15:00)
May 9, Liverpool vs Chelsea (15:00)
May 17, Newcastle United vs Liverpool (15:00)
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