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Premier League Team Analysis: Retooled Liverpool Ready for Title Chase


Premier League Team Analysis: Retooled Liverpool Ready for Title Chase

Liverpool mean business in the Premier League.

After finishing fourth in the English top flight and reaching the Champions League final in 2017/18, the Reds of Merseyside have now set their sights on higher standards and achievements: the league title and the European crown.

Jurgen Klopp has basically kept the Liverpool core intact—Emre Can the only notable departure—and, in fact, had one of the best summer transfer windows with the addition of four big-name players.

SBOBET now takes a look at the ever-exciting Liverpool squad, what’s in store for their fans and what to expect from them in the upcoming 2018/19 EPL season.

Key Strengths

We just don’t throw the word “exciting” freely here. However, Liverpool never fail to entertain with their high-octane offence that ranked second in the Premier League last campaign.

Their heavy metal football anchored on their famed gegenpressing has wowed the club’s supporters over the years, and it’s unlikely Klopp will have a change of heart about his philosophy that emphasises offence more than anything else.

The Liverpool triumvirate of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane remains a threat to any team, and there’s no other way but up for them after breaking the record for the most goals in a single Champions League season by a trio. The record they toppled? Real Madrid’s fabled BBC of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo!

It’s also worth mentioning that Klopp has bolstered his attacking unit this summer with the arrival of Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Keita was pivotal for RB Leipzig’s Bundesliga rise in 2016/17, and he fits perfectly with Klopp’s style of play that requires players to be fast and dynamic. Shaqiri, on the other hand, adds depth and playmaking on the wings, something which the team lost following the departure of Philippe Coutinho.

Major Weaknesses and Concerns

For a team that ranks in the top four of the English top flight, it’s quite interesting to see Liverpool finish with 12 draws and five defeats last season.

Now think where they could have been had they won those draws? Just four more victories would have propelled them to second spot in the 2017/18 Premier league! After all, their five draws were the second fewest in the league.

Defence is the culprit for the Reds’ inconsistency. While their offence is remarkable, the backline leaves much to be desired.

Some intriguing statistics: only four of their 12 draws last year went scoreless while the other eight had goals. Out of those eight games, they were on the lead seven times before collapsing and settling for a stalemate.

The addition of Fabinho and Brazil No.1 Alisson Becker should help Liverpool improve on that area, but their depth remains a concern (case on point: Liverpool’s defensive crisis with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez the only centre-backs fit for their opener next week).

Key Players to Watch

Is there any other Liverpool player worth talking about than Salah? After extending his contract with the club, expectations are high on the Egyptian King to impress once again and become a fixture in Premier League 2018 highlights.

But how can he top a 32-goal, Golden Boot-winning season? Well, the answer is probably by scoring as much, or more, and helping the team win silverware—perhaps the ultimate measure of a footballer’s success nowadays besides numbers and individual accolades.

Moreover, Salah has some unfinished business in the Champions League after getting injured in the final, so that’s another storyline to watch.

Besides Salah, new keeper Alisson is one that fans shouldn’t take their eyes off. The former Roma keeper is one of the best goalies in the world and Liverpool will need him to replicate his form with the Gialorrossi last season if they want to contend with Manchester City for the title.

Alisson kept 18 clean sheets in the Serie A this past campaign to help Roma finish third, behind Italian champions Juventus and Napoli.

Fearless Forecast

Our Premier League 2018 odds have Liverpool as second favourites to win the English trophy, while the other SBOBET offers show them in the top five for the Cup trophies. With that said, I predict them to win at least one title this year…probably the FA Cup.

The demands of European football shouldn’t be underestimated, so I don’t expect them to beat Manchester City in the EPL given their lack of depth. Liverpool are way better and more experienced this time around, but my analysis (and well, gut feel) tells me they’ll fight for the second place instead, against Manchester United and Tottenham.

 

 

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Angelo Guinhawa
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