Twelve months ago Liverpool fans would have been hoping that their Champions League final against Real Madrid would be the sign of changes that are yet to come. How right they were. We are just about to head into possibly one of the most crucial transfer windows in the history of the club with maybe just a few adjustments needing to be made so that the club can achieve their ultimate dream of winning the Premier League title.
Granted, Liverpool will begin the season as second favourites in the betting odds behind current champions Manchester City, but if they can repeat last season’s form and lose one game throughout the season, then it looks unlikely that anything could prevent Jurgen Klopp becoming immortalised with a top flight title at the club.
The Reds will kick off the season in the curtain raiser against City, where they will be the 2/1 outsiders to win the game. The Community Shield could give us early signs of whether it will be the Liverpool of 2018/19 that we will see for the coming season.
When you consider the last season’s Premier League standings, it seems difficult to predict where the club would look to strengthen. The Reds conceded fewer goals than any other team, and only Manchester City scored more goals than Klopp’s side. The only position where Liverpool may look to bolster their options is in an attacking midfield position. They have lacked a player in the mould of Philippe Coutinho ever since the Brazilian departed for Barcelona in 2018. There have been reports that the Reds may look to bring back the creative midfielder since he has struggled to hold down a place in the lineup. However, Liverpool are 10/1 outsiders to bring Coutinho back to Anfield, with current favourites in the market being PSG.
Nabil Fekir is a player that Klopp is a huge fan of and tried to bring him to England last summer. He also fits the creative needs that the Reds are lacking, and he is coming off the back of another marvellous season in Ligue 1. He scored nine goals and set up a further seven last season for Lyon, and Paddy Power makes Liverpool the favourite destination for him at 2/1.
The Reds are also among the leaders in the betting for Matthijs de Ligt, but a move for the Ajax captain seems unlikely. Liverpool are also the joint-favourites with Bayern Munich to sign Nicolas Pepe; with the wide positions another area where the Reds may look to bolster their numbers. However, it could be argued that the only business that Klopp conducts this summer revolves around bringing squad players such as Neil Etheridge and Max Kruse to the club.
Only Real Madrid have won back-to-back European titles in the Champions League era. While many experts will always say that regaining a title is harder than initially winning it; then the Champions League is the ultimate test of how good a team is. Klopp’s style of play suits the knockout style that is used in Europe, with the pace of the three strikers able to cause every defence in the competition problems, whether it be home or away.
The defensive stiffness that has been on display with Alison and van Dijk means that even the toughest of opponents struggle to score against the Reds. Bet365 make Liverpool the third favourites to win the competition at 7/1. They are behind both Barcelona and the early favourites Manchester City. To take advantage of these odds, look out for the regular offers Bet365 have new customers which can all be found here on Best Free Bets.
The one trophy that Liverpool want to get their hands on more than anything else is the Premier League. Next year will mark 30 years since the club’s last domestic title, and the number is slowly becoming more depressing for Liverpool fans. Of course, the Champions League was the perfect way to finish their memorable term last season, but it was almost an afterthought following their pursuit of Manchester City.
The marker that Pep Guardiola and his side have put down over recent seasons is something that Liverpool can’t fall behind on. The standard that was set last season can’t slip now, and the form of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will be crucial if the club are going to deliver. Currently the Reds are 5/2 on to win the league and 9/4 to score the most goals in the division.
Last season ended with Mane and Salah both sharing the golden boot along with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang from Arsenal. Their tally of 22 was remarkable for players who primarily play on the wings. It also meant that Salah became the sixth player to win consecutive golden boots’ and the first Liverpool player since Michael Owen between 1997 and 1999. Salah is the second favourite to achieve that feat again at 5/1, while Mane is an outsider at 12/1 to end the season as the league’s top goal scorer.
Domestic Cup Competitions
The competitions where Liverpool would have been desperately disappointed with their showings would have been the FA Cup and League Cup. In the League Cup, they suffered their first defeat of the season against an Eden Hazard-inspired Chelsea before Wolves added more cup misery in the third round of the FA Cup. It could be argued that Klopp was aware that his team couldn’t compete on all fronts so instead prioritised the European Cup and Premier League as opposed to the domestic cup competitions.
However, the Reds had to sit back and watch as City completed a domestic treble later in the season. The Reds will begin the season as the second favourites in the FA Cup at an attractive price of 7/1, while they will also be among the market leaders in the League Cup.