Liverpool Premier League Odds & Predictions 2017-18 Season
It is totally astonishing fact that if you are a Liverpool fan aged under 27, you’ve never witnessed your team lift the top prize in English football, a prize they won with such ease and regularity in the 70’s and 80’s. They have a good team, play attractive attacking football and have one of the best managers in European club football. Why has it not happened?
What’s New at Liverpool?
Liverpool are another of the “big boys” that didn’t have the distraction of European football last year and finishing 4th in the Premier League means they will be competing in this year’s Champions League if they beat German club Hoffenheim over two legs. Liverpool will need to hit the ground running with games against Arsenal and Manchester City within the first month.
Ins and Outs at Liverpool
Liverpool were incredibly fast in snapping up exciting winger Mohamed Salah from Roma for a club record £37.5 million. Since then, things have been quiet. Liverpool’s pursuit of Virgil van Dijk led to Southampton threatening to report Liverpool for “tapping up”. This led to Liverpool withdrawing their interest and apologising. However, this may still turn out well for Liverpool as the player has handed in a transfer request. He also states that Liverpool are the club he wants to join.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is another name being mentioned with Liverpool, the 23-year-old England international is heading into his final year on his contract at Arsenal and Klopp may be tempted. Oxlade-Chamberlain himself got Liverpool fans excited when he liked a comment on social media saying ’unlucky mate… he’s joining Liverpool FC’.
Liverpool’s Ideal Lineup
Mignolet, Matip, Lovren, Clyne, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Coutinho, Mane, Firmino.
Aims for the Season
The £198 million world record transfer deal that took Neymar from Barcelona to PSG will have worried a lot of Liverpool fans. Philippe Coutinho has been heavily touted as the player that Barca will sign to replace Neymar. Coutinho himself has stated he would like the move if an “amicable” deal can be done between Liverpool and Barcelona. Is he likely to keep to this nice guy approach closer to the transfer window closing? Only time will tell! Losing Coutinho would be a huge blow. Coutinho was instrumental for Liverpool last season, he was the club’s top scorer with 13 (with Mane), second best assist provider on 7 and had the most shots with 106.
I have no doubt that despite Liverpool winning Europe’s top prize more times than any other English club, (5 times I believe, not that anyone ever mentions it!) it will be the domestic league that will be highest priority.
Liverpool have done well in cup competitions in recent years until the finals, if Liverpool add some more players and find the killer instinct they have been lacking then it could be a good season from the boys from Anfield.
Tactics Used by Klopp
Klopp prefers a 4-2-3-1 formation and I doubt we will see a marked difference in the new season. New boy Salah is a left footed player who plays on the right side of the pitch. This means he will be taking players on and cutting inside often.
The 4-2-3-1 formation can with the same personal be switched to a 4-4-2 and this is a tactic I would expect Klopp to adapt when playing in Europe. It will be interesting to see if Klopp uses a three at the back more this year as it seems all the rage to copy Chelsea’s winning formula.
Weaknesses and Strengths of Liverpool
There is no doubt that Liverpool have some great talent in that squad. Lallana (injured so not in ideal line up) is showing signs of being a great player and of course they have the Brazilian duo of Firmino and Coutinho. It is their ability to kill off “lesser teams” that has hurt them in the past, I still think this might be an issue this season as well.
I also question the depth of the squad, not in numbers but the quality throughout the team. Adding that sort of depth to a team is incredibly difficult as finding good players that are prepared to spend long periods of time on the bench, whilst remaining happy is quite a rare commodity in football.
Liverpool do have some real prospects coming through the youth set-up. Most will have heard of Ben Woodburn and he is a player with immense potential. At Liverpool, you know a player will be protected and developed and Klopp is a good manager to help that development. Also catching the eye is right-back Joe Gomez, Klopp believes that Gomez has a real chance of claiming the right back spot in the first team.
Most Important Players for Liverpool
Philippe Coutinho – As mentioned in this article previously, Coutinho is the leading shot taker, scorer and a close second on assists and keeping hold of him is almost essential if Liverpool are to improve on their fourth-place finish last year. Coutinho seems like he’s flirting with Barcelona but will he go to second base?
James Milner – Not the flashiest of players nor the highest profile player but Milner’s flexibility and the ability to play in a variety of positions will ensure he is in Klopp’s plans for this year. A good penalty taker and always gives his all on the pitch.
Mohamed Salah – Salah has already shown what he will be bringing in his pre-season performance for Liverpool with his two goals against Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup. Sadio Mane on one wing and Salah on the other is an exciting prospect. Salah also likes to make runs behind which should cause defenders problems.
Last Season’s Results
This was Jurgen Klopp’s first full season in charge of the Merseyside club and the 4th place finish is a good one when you consider both Arsenal and Manchester United missed out on the top four. You sense a more patient approach at Liverpool than other clubs, with the board seemingly in tune with Klopp’s strategy. Liverpool started the season with the form of champions. Arsenal, Spurs, Leicester, Chelsea and Liverpool all failed to beat Liverpool and it appeared that Klopp had a title-winning potential team.
Against the top teams, Liverpool had some amazing moments and the first game of the season saw Liverpool travel to Arsenal and beat them 4-3 in their backyard.
Liverpool have for years tried to shake off their Jekyll and Hyde personality but it was once again evident last season. The game at Bournemouth is one such example. Despite being in almost total control they lost a two-goal lead with 15 minutes remaining. This needs to improve; consistency is the only way to win the league.
Where Will Liverpool Finish?
I personally don’t think Liverpool will be the team lifting the Premier League trophy this year. Last year they started like a team on a mission but they ran out of steam, this is a pattern that has repeating for a while. Last year they also had the huge advantage of not playing European football, this season they don’t have that luxury.
There are green shoots of growth all over Liverpool but I think this season is too early and to date Liverpool have not hit the transfer market as much as I thought they would. There is still time of course. A couple of decent signings would make the difference.
Sorry Liverpool fans but I see you doing quite well in Europe but unlikely to finish above 5th.
If you disagree Bet365 have Liverpool at odds of 12/1. For new customers, you can grab up to £200 matched deposit. Hmmm £200 at 12/1 = £2,600. Fancy it?