2016/17 Season Preview: Liverpool

370px-Liverpool_FC.svgJurgen Klopp is set for his first full season in charge at Anfield and the German looks to bring this Liverpool side to be back in the mix for Champions League football.

Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Home ground: Anfield
Last season: 8th
Highest EPL accolade: 2nd (2002, 2009, 2014)

 

Star Player

Daniel Sturridge scored 13 goals in all competitons last season image: firstdigitalghana.com

Daniel Sturridge scored 13 goals in all competitors last season
image: firstdigitalghana.com

Striker Daniel Sturridge spent the majority of his 2015/16 season on the sidelines but when fit, the English international can cause headaches for any Premier League defence. He will hope to stay out of the physio room and bang in the goals this season.

The 26-year-old enjoyed his best season in 2013/14 when his 21 goals and partnership with Luis Suarez was a central part of Liverpool’s title bid that season. He only scored eight goals last season but with his top pace and excellent technique, he is Liverpool’s main man up front.

£30m man Christian Benteke never really hit the ground running at Liverpool as the former Aston Villa man looks towards the exit. Sturridge knows he will have to stay fit and score goal after goal if Jurgen Klopp’s side stand any chance of a top four finish this season.

Key Transfers

IN

Joel Matip (Schalke – Free), Loris Karius (Mainz – £4.7m), Saido Mane (Southampton – £34m), Ragnar Klavan (Augsburg – £4.2m), Alex Manninger (Augsburg – Free), Giorgino Wijnaldum (Newcastle – £25m)

OUT

Jordan Ibe (Bournemouth – £15m), Joe Allen (Stoke – £13m), Martin Skrtel (Fenerbache – £5m), Jerome Sinclair (Watford – £4m), Brad Smith (Bournemouth – £3m), Sergi Canos (Norwich – Undisclosed), Kolo Toure (Celtic – Free), Jon Flanagan (Burnley – Season loan), Adam Bogdan (Wigan – Season loan), Jose Enrique (released)

One to Watch

After signing for Liverpool back in January for £5m, early signs suggest that Marko Grujic could prove to be one of the signings of the season with the 20-year-old impressing in pre-season to show that he can be a key man in Liverpool’s first team.

Marko Grujic made a £5m switch to Liverpool back in Januray image: dailymail.co.uk

Marko Grujic made a £5m switch to Liverpool back in January
image: dailymail.co.uk

He returned to Red Star Belgrade for the second half of the season after his move to the Reds in January and with the sale of Joe Allen to Stoke, Grujic looks to take his chance and impress with his excellent ball control, speed and top of range passing in a deep central midfield role.

The Serbian has impressed in pre-season, including scoring a goal in the Reds 4-0 win over Barcelona and if he keeps this up, there is no reason to doubt that Grujic will be one of the first names on team sheet and at just 20-years-old, he will just get better and better.

Best XI

Mignolet

Clyne   Lovren   Matip   Moreno

Henderson   Wijnaldum

Mané       Coutinho      Firmino

Sturridge

Prediction: 5th

Liverpool image: irishmirror.ie

Liverpool finished a disappointing eighth last season
image: irishmirror.ie

There has been a good few changes over the summer as Jugen Klopp prepares for his first full season in charge of Liverpool and after his excellent success at Borussia Dortmund, he will be hoping to bring Liverpool back to the top of English football.

Despite Klopp splashing the cash over the summer, I think Liverpool are still some way off of being title challengers. They have some great attackers in Coutinho and Sturridge but the team lacks a superstar like an Aguero at Man City or a Ibrahimovic at Man United.

They need to improve defensively and we will have to wait and see if Joel Matip or Ragnar Klavan is the leader at the back to cut out last season’s mistakes. I think they will be in the mix for Champions League football but they just lack that one superstar to get the job done.

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