Liverpool were odds-on favourites to win the Premier League with three games to go last season. 226 minutes away from all-but winning the top flight for the first time in 226 minutes. Then Steven Gerrard slipped…
After finishing two points behind champions Manchester City in May, Liverpool are now a massive 11.0 to win the 2014-15 Premier League. Fifth favourites.
The sale of Luis Suárez to Barcelona has affected everyone’s faith in this Liverpool team. One must remember they were not amongst the favourites at the start of last season until the Uruguayan started scoring for fun.
Liverpool now have the potential to do what Tottenham did 12 months ago – sell their star player, bring in a number of new players, not gel, and have a disappointing season.
Brendan Rodgers have brought in six new faces this summer. Three of them do have Premier League experience at least. Adam Lallana and Lazar Marković are two more skilful midfielders to add to to what is already the strongest part of their side. Rickie Lambert we believe is the plan B in attack. Although they are yet to sign a plan A – a replacement for Suárez in the striker position.
Emre Can can play either centre midfield or left-back. Dejan Lovren is an upgrade a centre-back. The Croatian is a leader on the pitch and will organise the defence that conceded 50 goals in the Premier League last season. Don’t underestimate the importance of someone like Lovren.
Young striker Divock Origi was loaned straight back to Lille after completing a £10,000,000 move. I would still expect Liverpool to dive into the transfer market against before the window closes.
Here’s what I think is the strongest Liverpool line-up right now:
It’s a very strong starting line-up but tactically there are question marks raised. They were out mastered by Chelsea last season after entering the game on the best form in the country against a team who were playing in the middle of two Champions League semi-final legs and resting several players. Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are going to be better organised this season with their new managers.
With the threat of Suárez gone I don’t see Liverpool scoring a century of goals this season. They still have plenty of pace going forward, something that proved very successful last season. But getting 50+ goals from Sturridge and his strike partner this season is a tough ask.
Of the teams that finished below last season, Chelsea have certainly invested the best, on paper at least. The signing of Alexis Sánchez is an upgrade for Arsenal. The appointment of Louis van Gaal and the signing of Ander Herrera makes them a top four contender once again and all-of-a-sudden you have to wonder if Liverpool will finish in a UEFA Champions League qualifying position.