With the new Premier League season drawing ever closer, it’s high time to take an introspective look at Liverpool’s prospects for the coming season.
After what was a season of two halves in the 2016/17 campaign, Liverpool eventually achieved their goal of earning qualification to the Champions League, with only a Hoffenheim shaped obstacle left between them and the group stages.
Throughout the summer fans have been taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions, from the tedium of the Mohamed Salah saga to the (somehow) even more tedious Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita chat.
In the end only three recruitments have been made in the form of Dominic Solanke, Mohamed Salah and Andrew Robertson. And while hopefully more headway will be made regarding further signings, at this moment in time the group of players Jürgen Klopp has at his disposal is an improvement on last season’s squad.
The acquisition of the U21 World Cup golden ball winner, a winger whose pace could frighten Usain Bolt and an actual left back gives the Reds greater squad depth, with the latter two signings slotting seamlessly into the starting 11, upgrading two positions that have been in need of improvement for some time now.
It also feels apt to mention that Liverpool haven’t lost any key players this transfer window. And assuming they can hold onto the mercurial yet sublime talent of Philippe Coutinho (they will), then there’s no reason as to why the Reds can’t replicate their form of early 2016/17 across the entirety of the new season and put themselves in contention for the league title.
Of course, almost everyone around Liverpool have strengthened themselves as well. Manchester City, United, Chelsea and Arsenal have all build on what were already strong squads, even Everton have built a squad capable of challenging for sixth place. I kid of course, the message that is being conveyed with this point is that the Premier League is looking more competitive than ever, with any one of the top six teams capable of challenging for the ever coveted league trophy.
So, onto Liverpool. The Reds kick off their season on August 12th at Vicarage Road against Watford, a team Liverpool picked up six points against last campaign so, as far as the opening fixture goes, things are looking positive.
In fact, so long as the main bulk of the starting 11 are able to maintain their fitness, then I foresee no troubles in Liverpool launching a title challenge with a real sense of conviction.
With all that behind them though, Klopp’s men will be looking to press on with the new season and hopefully bring some silverware back to Anfield.
Notable absentees for Saturday currently include Adam Lallana with a thigh injury, Nathaniel Clyne with a hamstring issue and Philippe Coutinho with a back problem, no he’s not off to Barcelona, you can put away the torches, pitchforks and #FSGout banners.
Despite the absence of such big names from Liverpool’s midfield, the Reds have enough talent in the centre of the park to get the job done, providing ammunition for arguably one of the best looking front lines in the league. With that said here’s how I anticipate Liverpool will line up at Vicarage Road:
Assuming such a first string lineup is available throughout the course of the season then it won’t be hard to foresee great things for Liverpool this season. And while deals for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, as well as a few others, may go down to the wire, fans might yet see more fresh faces come in through the door at Anfield.
After years of waiting, it’s beginning to look as though Liverpool have assembled a team that could maintain their status as a top four side, if not push for the elusive 19th league title. And, while a few pieces of the puzzle remain absent, the Reds may not have long to wait until they begin to look live their old selves once again.