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.
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.
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.
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.
Andrew Robertson the most important Liverpool summer signing
The Scottish left-back has plugged a gap that has existed at Liverpool for some time.
Mohamed Salah rightly received all the praise yesterday, after Liverpool put Watford to the sword in the Premier League.
Liverpool beat the Hornets 5-0 at Anfield, with the Egyptian scoring four of the goals.
It is hard to argue with Salah being the club’s best signing in the summer. His tally of 37 goals in 43 games certainly highlights that fact.
However, the most important signing might have been that of Andrew Robertson.
The Scottish left-back joined from Hull City in a deal, reported by the Independent, to be worth around £8 million. That price-tag is now looking an absolute bargain.
Liverpool have had problems at left-back for a number of seasons.
Alberto Moreno looked like being the solution. However, the Spaniard’s defensive work and decision making made him a liability.
Jon Flanagan, who was Brendan Rodgers’ regular left-back, has not reached similar heights since a series of knee injuries decimated his promising career.
Last season saw James Milner fill the role. The experienced midfielder played well out of position but long-term, was not the solution.
Now, Liverpool have Robertson. The Scotland international has made the step up from his time at Hull with ease.
The 24-year-old Glaswegian is not only a threat going forward, but defensively he is exceptional.
His delivery into the box is undoubtedly exemplary, but he is equally adept at stopping opposing players from getting near Liverpool’s.
Liverpool have managed to bring in a player perfectly suited to Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.
Heavy-metal is the way Robertson plays in both attack and defence and the fans at Anfield already love him.
At just £8 million and only 24-years-old Liverpool picked up the bargain of the summer in the Premier League.
If Robertson can continue to progress and play with the same level of consistency he already has, then a decade of dominance at left-back could follow as Liverpool’s left-back.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah within touching distance of all-time Premier League goal-scoring record
The Egyptian international has 28 Premier League goals this term.
Anfield witnessed a truly special moment in the second half of Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Watford on Saturday. Winning 3-0, Liverpool were running riot in wintry conditions, and Mohamed Salah collected the ball just inside the box on a hat-trick.
What followed was absolute magic, emblematic of a dream debut season in the north-west for the Egyptian. Salah was mobbed by three defenders, but left all three in the dust with one deft cut-back.
Then, with two more Watford players crashing in on the ball, Salah remarkably managed to poke an improvised finish into the far corner past the helpless Orestis Karnezis.
As Salah wheeled away in celebration, tongue stuck out and arms extended, Anfield reveled in history in the making. That goal marked Salah’s 27th of the Premier League season and he would go on to score his 28th just eight minutes later.
The Egyptian is on course to smash the Premier League scoring records in emphatic fashion. The current record is 31 goals, a tally achieved by Alan Shearer in 1995/96, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08, and fellow Red Luis Suarez in 2013/14.
With seven matches remaining, including fixtures against the likes of West Brom and Stoke, few would bet against Salah demolishing the 22-year-old record.
The achievement would place Salah in the illustrious company of Premier League legends, an incredible feat for a player who many in England wrote off during his short spell at Chelsea.
Thanks to Salah, Liverpool have barely missed a step after the departure of Philippe Coutinho in January, advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals and cementing their top-four position.
The prolific winger is proving all of his doubters wrong in audacious fashion, and with a Premier League Golden Boot and goal-scoring record seemingly on the way, he is one of the most in-form players in the world.
The early-April European clash with Manchester City will provide Salah with, perhaps, his biggest stage yet. Expect the top goalscorer in England to rise to the occasion.
Jugen Klopp wanted him in 2016, Filip Kostic set for cut-price exit
The Serbian is set to be relegated with Hamburg.
In the summer of 2016 Liverpool were being linked with the signature of Serbian winger Filip Kostic. The Independent reported that Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, had both watched the player, but had missed out. Hamburg instead signed Kostic from Bundesliga rivals Stuttgart for £12 million.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would have known all about Kostic through his Bundesliga links and seeing him move elsewhere would have been frustrating. But, nearly two years on from Kostic’s Hamburg move, Liverpool may feel they dodged a bullet.
This summer, if Liverpool still wanted Kostic, they could get him cheap. The reason why? His performances have not lived up to his ability since the Hamburg move. Now, the Bundesliga side look doomed to relegation. The result will be a firesale in the summer, as HSV look to meet financial demands. Kostic, being one of the most valuable players and highest-earners at the club, will be available.
Based on his form for Hamburg, Liverpool would be unlikely to take an interest in the player.
But, rather than dodging a bullet, perhaps this situation could work out perfectly for Klopp and Liverpool.
Whilst Kostic has had a rough time at Hamburg, a lot of that is down to the running of the club.
For the Serbian national team the 25-year-old has still been in good form and Liverpool might just be able to bring Kostic in at a cut-price.
With the World Cup coming up this summer, Kostic will look to shine. A deal for Liverpool before then may prove to be a masterstroke.
Liverpool can look at Kostic in two ways. One, a transfer failure they should be happy with. Two, an opportunity for a bargain this summer.
Either way Klopp and Liverpool cannot really lose.
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