After coming so close to claiming their first ever Premier League title two seasons ago, only to see a slip from Steven Gerrard and losing a three goal lead at Crystal Palace see them able to only finish second to Manchester City, there were big plans for last season for Liverpool but, once again, things did not go their way. The ban for Luis Suarez at the World Cup saw the club get rid of their top striker, with the Uruguayan bagging 31 EPL goals during 13/14, and with many of the transfers made by manager Brendan Rodgers not working as hoped the slide slumped to sixth in the league. Can they turn things around for this upcoming season?
The biggest issue for Liverpool last season was the loss of 31 goal striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona and the fact that many of their signings flopped. After Suarez netted more than 30 goals in the 13/14 campaign last season saw captain Steven Gerrard finish as the top scorer for the club with just nine goals in the EPL and a total of 13 in all competitions. However, their biggest issues were defensively as they were beaten 12 times across the course of the season, including losing six of their first 12 matches, and they will need to tighten up at the back if they are to push back towards the Champions League places this season.
2015/16 EPL Preview:
After the lack of goals scored last season and the number of goals conceded Liverpool have plenty of work to do in the off season if they are to return to the top four this season. Attacking players Lazar Marković and Mario Balotelli, who cost a total of £36m, were the biggest offenders from signings last season, but they have laid out their cards early and have gotten some top class players already signed throughout the pitch. Will Brendan Rodgers be able to shake the claim that he struggles in the transfer window by getting the best out of these new players?
Ins and Outs:
Joe Gomez – Liverpool have signed the 18 year old centre back from Championship side Charlton Athletic for £3.5m as a player for the future. He is expected to be loaned out to play in the second tier again this season, but the youngster has been capped by England at U-16, U-17 and U-19 levels and is expected to do big things for the club in the future.
Roberto Firmino – The 23 year old Brazilian attacking midfielder who has played for his country at the Copa America this summer has been brought in from German Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for £21.3m. He has been an impressive player ever since breaking into the first team of Figueirense in his homeland in 2009 and he has netted more than 60 goals in 200 games in Brazil and Germany since then and he attracted the attention of several big clubs across Europe this summer, with Liverpool winning the race to capture him. With Steven Gerrard having left for the MLS, but his record so far shows that he is capable of stepping into these massive boots.
James Milner – The veteran of 13 EPL seasons moves from Manchester City in what may not be one of the most sensational moves of the summer, but it could very well be one of the most important for the Merseyside team. The player capped 54 times by England has been a vital part of Man City and, prior to that, Aston Villa midfields and at just 29 years old the England man still has plenty left in him. He may well prove to be the best free transfer of the summer.
Danny Ings – Ings was the brightest point of Burnley’s season back in the top flight last season that saw them relegated again as the 22 year old striker bagged 11 of the 28 goals scored by the club in the Premier League. This saw him snatched up by Brendan Rodgers in the close season and with him sure to get much more support going forwards this season he’ll be more than capable of bettering his record from last season and boosting the team’s goalscoring record.
Adam Bogdan – The Hungarian 27 year old goalkeeper comes into the Liverpool team as back up to the number one Simon Mingolet following the release of Brad Jones. He will certainly prove to be a more capable number two in the goalkeeping department and will add some serious competition for the place between the sticks at Anfield this season.
Nathaniel Clyne – Liverpool have boosted a vital area on the pitch with the £12.5m signing of right back Clyne from Southampton. A number of clubs were interested in the 24 year old who had spent three years at St. Mary’s before moving North to Anfield and they will be delighted with the capture of one of the rising stars of the English game who will surely make a difference both in attacking and defensive positions for his new side.
Liverpool has seen a number of players exit the club with unsettled midfielder Raheem Sterling moving to Manchester City for £49m while goalkeeper Brad Jones, defender Glen Johnson and club legend Steve Gerrard all being released at the end of their contracts. Johnson moved to Stoke and Gerrard has moved to the MLS with LA Galaxy. Striker Iago Aspas has also left the club having signed for Spanish side Sevilla for £4m after a successful loan spell last season.
Liverpool EPL Preview Bets:
Online bookmaker Unibet.com believe that the additions that Brendan Rodgers has already brought into the Liverpool team will aid them in moving up the table, although not by a large amount as their odds of 21.00 make them the fifth favourites to win the Premier League title this season. If you take out the big four of Chelsea, Arsenal and the Manchester clubs of City and United then the sportsbook does offer value on Liverpool as they make them the 1.72 favourites to win the league without these top four sides.
They will have to improve against Tottenham Hotspur if they are to finish behind the big four this season, but they were beaten by only two points last season so this is entirely possible. The biggest question lies with the manager though as 12 defeats last season on top of a poor performances from the players brought in left many fans, and even the club owners, questioning his ability to do this job correctly. Brendan Rodgers is currently the 4.50 favourite to be the next Premier League manager to be fired from his job and with his side facing a Stoke side on the opening weekend that defeated them 6-1 on the final day of last season we feel that there is enough doubt in his abilities to see him gone before the end of September if the team starts slowly. As such, our Liverpool pick is back Brendan Rodgers to be the next manager to be fired @ 4.50 with Unibet.com.