20/21 Liverpool FC Premier League Season Preview

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After 30 long years, Liverpool finally won the league title again; lifting the Premier League trophy for the first time ever, capping off the 2019/20 season.

They have had little time to fully enjoy the triumph however, with the new campaign starting just 51 days after team captain Jordan Henderson hoisted the trophy in the Kop in the season’s penultimate game.

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SUMMER WINDOW

The Reds will bring back nearly the same squad as last year’s title team. Only Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren departed from the club that will look to win back-to-back titles for the first time since the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons.

Liverpool has been very quiet in the transfer market so far this off-season. The only signing they have made since the season ended was left back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos, but his full debut will be put on hold after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty for Greece.

Then there is the ongoing transfer saga with Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago and Liverpool. Both Jurgen Klopp and the player seem to be keen on a move to Anfield, but as the season rapidly approaches, Liverpool ownership have yet to submit a formal bid to the German giants.

ATTACK

With the lack of transfer moves, Liverpool will look from within to strengthen the squad. The vaunted front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah had their lowest goal production in their three years together last season, but still combined to score 46 goals.

Liverpool will have a full-season of Takumi Minamino, who arrived during the winter break last year from RB Salzburg. After a successful loan spell at Swansea City, 20-year-old Rhian Brewster could stick with the Reds this year and provide depth up front along with Divock Origi.

MIDFIELD

The midfield will also likely see some different looks as well. While longtime stalwarts Jordan Henderson and James Milner are still reliable, they are getting older and are nearing the end of their careers. The Reds may have another issue to deal with as Barcelona, with their new manager Ronald Koeman are said to be very interested in Gini Wijnaldum.

Local academy product Curtis Jones got more minutes as last season went on, and he should have more of a role this year.

Naby Keita has also showed glimpses of why Liverpool paid the price they did for him two years ago, but has never been able to stay healthy. If he is healthy, he could emerge as a weekly starter alongside Fabinho. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri have been missing throughout pre-season training, but could have an impact once they’re fully integrated as well.

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DEFENSE

Liverpool’s starting backline is the best in the league with Andy Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, but there isn’t much depth behind them. Joel Matip adds experience at center back, but Liverpool don’t have another senior central defender to speak of.

Tsimikas will bring depth to the left side when healthy, and Neco Williams will provide the required cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold.

FORMATION

In Saturday’s pre-season friendly win over Blackpool, Liverpool showed what may be a very significant change for this upcoming season, as they employed a new formation.

While the 4-3-3 has been the standard under Klopp, Saturday they played in a 4-2-3-1, with Salah up front and Minamino, Firmino and Mane behind. As other teams adjust to defend Liverpool’s attack, it will be key for Liverpool to be able to counter back, and that change in formation may be just that.

GOALS/OUTLOOK

The goal for the season is obviously to win the Premier League for the second successive season. It will almost certainly be a closer race this year, with Man City regrouping and Chelsea strengthening their squad in the transfer market.

The Reds are second favorites to win the title, after City, according to Odds Shark at +160.

Season Preview Series: Chelsea Arsenal  Manchester City  Manchester United

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