Liverpool endured a very challenging year last season, one which culminated in the 6-1 humiliation at the Britannia on the final day. Luckily, an impressive unbeaten run in the middle of the campaign meant that they still qualified for the Europa League, despite the embarrassing finish. Brendan Rodgers oversaw big changes this summer to try and ensure that their miserable day at Stoke is not repeated.
Cruelly perhaps, they travel back to the same ground on the opening day of this season. But, what should be their hopes for the campaign as a whole?
The Reds have been very busy during the window. They made the shrewd signings of Adam Bogdan, Danny Ings, and James Milner, and have followed them up with the acquisitions of Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez, as well as the big money moves for both Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke. There is a feeling that the Merseyside outfit have made some very sensible signings during this window, but that may change if the expensive buys don’t make an immediate impact. Remember, they have to somehow make up for the loss of Steven Gerrard.
Roberto Firmino is the most exciting name to arrive through the door this summer, and there is much anticipation about how he will link up with Philippe Coutinho. He shone in the Bundesliga last year for Hoffenheim, scoring seven and bagging ten assists. With the club’s two highest goalscorers from last year – Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling – moving on, Firmino will have to be just as productive for his new side.
Joe Gomez was brought in from Charlton with only a handful of appearances under his belt for the Championship side. While he is more accustomed to playing on the right, or in the middle of defence, Brendan Rodgers has used him on the left during pre-season, suggesting that he will act as cover for Alberto Moreno. However, his efforts so far have led to calls for him to play ahead of the Spaniard.
Brendan Rodgers seemingly survived the chop last season by the skin of his teeth. Big changes were needed, and big changes have certainly been made. However, if things don’t begin well this time around, expect the axe to be wielded. There is still some scepticism around Anfield regarding whether Rodgers is the right man, only points will alleviate those concerns.
Realistic Finish: 2nd
While Chelsea should have enough class to retain their Premier League title, the Reds have put themselves in the mix to be Jose Mourinho’s side’s nearest challengers.
Predicted Finish: 4th
Brendan Rodgers has got a massive task on his hands, and while they boast a large squad, there are only a handful of real quality players in the side currently. They need to gel quickly, and stay injury-free. With a bit of scepticism, we back them to finish in the top four, but too many things have got to go right for them to go higher than fourth.
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