Nickname: The Reds
Date Founded: 1892
Ground: Anfield (45k)
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Rivals: Everton, Manchester United
Last season’s finish: 2nd
First five games:
Southampton (H), Man City (A), Tottenham (A), Aston Villa (H), West Ham (A)
Philippe Coutinho – The Brazilian playmaker will be rightly disappointed that he didn’t get into Brazil’s national side for the World Cup after his impressive performances last season for Liverpool. I expect him to quickly move on from that, and continue to prove why he should be considered for internationals with his quick thinking and creativity.
Raheem Sterling – It’s hard to believe that he’s only 19 but his development shows no sign of slowing down since coming into the picture in 2012, to now starting for England in the World Cup two years later. He earned himself a place in the starting line-up for much of last season and consistently rewarded Rodgers for his faith by producing key goals for the side and creating chances.
Daniel Sturridge – His “SAS” partnership with Suarez last season was phenomenal and attracted the attention of the world. It will be interesting to see if he can replicate that form this season, and it looks like there will be a lot more responsibility on his shoulders.
Dejan Lovren – 25 year old defender, signed for £20 million from Southampton
Javier Manquillo – 20 year old defender, signed on loan from Atletico Madrid
Emre Can – 20 year old midfielder, signed for £9.25 million from Bayer Leverkusen
Adam Lallana – 26 year old midfielder, signed for £25 million from Southampton
Lazor Markovic – 20 year old winger, signed for £19.8 million from Benfica
Rickie Lambert – 32 year old striker, signed for £4 million from Southampton
Divock Origi – 19 year old striker, signed for £10 million from Lille
Areas to improve:
The signings so far have added some much needed depth to the team which finished an impressive 2nd last season. With the addition of the Champion’s League to compete in this season, these additions may prove to be essential for Liverpool’s season. A possible concern for Rodgers is how the team will cope with the loss of Suarez, as his contributions last season won games almost single handedly at times. Markovic is the closest addition to replacing Suarez but he is only 20 years old so will be unlikely to step up to those high standards set by the Uruguayan. Lovren will hopefully settle in quickly to add some much needed stability to the defence which was very leaky last season. I think the two full back positions are also in need of strengthening as Glen Johnson isn’t the same player he was a few seasons ago, and Jose Enrique is back from a long injury absence with questions over whether he’s good enough. Manquillo has been signed on loan and Moreno of Sevilla is also being speculated to be transferred to Liverpool. They both look to be fit for the Premier League, and should hopefully slot in quickly to help Liverpool succeed.
In the league I would like to think Liverpool will build on last season’s title challenge, but I expect it to be even more tighter this season so I’d take a Top 4 finish once again. Hopefully with the added depth in the squad there will be good performances in the cup competitions, with a trophy to show for it and some surprises along the way. There were many games last season where Liverpool were unlucky not to come away with 3 points, especially against the top teams, so I also expect this to be improved with a more strategic game plan in place.