Aug 9, 2017
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Liverpool: 2017/18 Premier League Season Preview

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Liverpool are going to face a more difficult campaign this year with the added pressure of European football. Jurgen Klopp’s style of play is demanding and there were signs last season that the Reds couldn’t cope with playing three matches in a week.

During January, they played nine matches and that had a negative effect on their results, as they won only one of them. The loss of Sadio Mane was huge during this period, but the players looked noticeably tired. This needs to be addressed if they are going to challenge at the top of the league this season. SportNation.bet have boosted Klopp’s side to win the Premier League to 20/1.

The Reds had an excellent start to the season and were seen as potential title contenders up until the turn of the year. Their style, albeit demanding, is an exciting one to watch. They press high on the pitch and look to recover the ball quickly before counter-attacking with pace. The front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho was great to watch, with all three contributing regularly in terms of goals and assists.

It was a great achievement for Klopp to lead the club back to the Champions League, as Liverpool had one of the weaker squads in the top six. The defence isn’t good enough and there are still doubts regarding the goalkeeping position. The German will want to develop further this season and challenge for the title. He will also be looking to win his first trophy as Liverpool manager after coming close in his first season.

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How has their summer been so far?

It has been a frustrating one. Their pursuit of Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita has been well publicised, but they have as yet failed to sign either one of them. They had to issue a public apology to Southampton due to an illegal approach for the former. Meanwhile, RB Leipzig continue to maintain that the latter isn’t for sale, despite huge bids from Liverpool.

They have managed to sign Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson, both of whom improve the squad, but they need to add more talent if they are to challenge on multiple fronts. Salah adds competition to the forward line and opens up new tactical options to Klopp. You can keep up to date with all the Liverpool in comings and outgoings at SportNation.com.

He is a better player than the one that didn’t get a chance at Chelsea and he should be a success in the Premier League this time around. Robertson is a shrewd capture as he provides a natural left-footed option at left-back, which will provide the side with balance. Dominic Solanke has also joined the club and he has the potential to be a great signing if he maintains his pre-season form.

Liverpool have had a good pre-season as they triumphed in the Premier League Asia Trophy, after beating Crystal Palace and Leicester City. Their performance against Bayern Munich was a highlight as they won with ease and dominated the proceedings for large periods. This showed that they could compete with the best on their day.

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Manager: Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp is one of the most loved managers in the league, both for his style of play and his charisma in post-match interviews. He is an animated character on the touchline and it is clear that he is giving his all for the club. The German has a unique style, as he demands his players to work harder than the opposition and to be clinical in the final third. They will have one of the most fluid line-ups in the Premier League this season and if each player performs their role to the letter, they will be extremely difficult to play against.

His primary tactic is a 4-3-3, but he could be tempted to play a 4-4-2 diamond this season as he did a few times towards the end of last season. Although they set-up in a formation, Liverpool play a fluid style and it would be difficult to pick up what formation they were playing unless you got told before the match. It is a big season to Klopp as he must continue to make progress at Anfield. The transfer business completed so far, or lack of it, will make it hard for him.

How could they line-up?

The defence picks itself due to the lack of options available to Klopp, which means a back four of Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Andy Robertson is likely. There are more options in midfield, but Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum are certainties to play.

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A front two of Salah and Mane operating as split strikers is an interesting option and one that the Reds should try out. Their pace and movement will cause opposition defenders a lot of problems, which will open space for the likes of Roberto Firmino to inflict damage.

Who are Liverpool’s best fantasy football options?

Liverpool are likely to be one of the leaders in goals scored, which means owning one of their attackers is a must. Sadio Mane is likely to be the most owned, due to his success last season, but Mohamed Salah could be a good pick. Although there are doubts regarding his playing time, he had an excellent pre-season and the size of Liverpool’s squad means that he will get minutes. Last season, he contributed 15 goals and 11 assists in Serie A.

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Premier League Verdict

A lot depends on the transfer business that the club complete before the deadline. They need at least two big additions to improve weaknesses in the first eleven. It will also be important to keep Philippe Coutinho at the club, as the midfielder is continuously linked with Barcelona. At this point in the window, it would be nearly impossible to replace him sufficiently. They will be exciting to watch and there are a lot of goals in their attack, but their defensive problems make it difficult to see them putting in a serious title challenge.

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Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.