2018/19 Liverpool Season Preview

PORTO, PORTUGAL - FEBRUARY 14: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his side's third goal with team mates Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between FC Porto and Liverpool at Estadio do Dragao on February 14, 2018 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Craig Mercer - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Liverpool come into the new season on a high after the successes of their last campaign. The Reds automatically secured a Champions League place as well as getting to the final of the competition, losing to Real Madrid. As well as this, they were the first team to beat Manchester City domestically in a thrilling 4-3 win at Anfield.

Liverpool Season Preview

Last Time Out

A fourth-place finish could have been greatly improved on, though, especially as many pundits claimed that Liverpool’s squad was the closest to challenging City’s. A number of poor results, including a loss to Swansea and two draws with relegated West Brom saw Manchester United and Spurs climb above the Reds in the table.

Their campaign was a successful one though, as Jurgen Klopp guided the Merseysiders to the Champions League once again, as well as through last season’s edition of the competition to the final, all while deploying his ‘heavy metal’ style of football that has earned so many plaudits.

Key Player

Liverpool had a number of notable players last season, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all notching 20+ goals. Other fan-favourites included Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andy Robertson and teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold, all of whom could do no wrong in the eyes of the Liverpool faithful.

However, it was Salah who captured the hearts of the fans. The so-called ‘Egyptian King’ seemed to break every goal-scoring record going during his debut season on Merseyside, most notably achieving the record for the most goals scored in a Premier League season, 32.

Without his goal-scoring exploits, Liverpool wouldn’t have achieved anything near what they did in the 2017/18 season, and he is surely set to feature heavily in this coming season. He may see game-time stripped slightly with the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri, but Salah is still the main man on Merseyside and will once again be at the focal point.

Manager

Jurgen Klopp is set to begin his third full season with Liverpool, and if the last couple of campaigns are anything to go by, there could be many more in the future.

Klopp sealed a deal for Naby Keita last summer, and the Guinean midfielder finally arrived at the club this month. As well as this, Klopp has completed deals for Fabinho, the aforementioned Shaqiri and Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, adding to the depth of his squad; something that was shown to be needed last season.

If Klopp can continue to add to the depth of this squad and can keep his front three firing, while also ensuring strong performances from the rest of his squad, there’s no reason the Reds cannot challenge for some silverware this season, something that has eluded the German since he arrived at the club.

Predicted Finish

There’s no doubt that Liverpool will, once again, be aiming for a top-four finish. To see them as genuine title contenders may still be a step too far, but let’s not forget how close they came in 2013/14 with a squad that is a mere shadow of what they possess now.

They will want to improve on their fourth-place finish from this season, especially after being second for so long. Their outfield team looks capable of doing that, but with Klopp seemingly keeping his faith with Loris Karius in goal, they may struggle to finish in a runners-up place.

The improvements made outfield, though, should see them go one higher, so a third-place finish seems a reasonable expectation. However, trophies have dried up at the club, so fans will be wanting some sort of silverware to go with that finish this season.

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