Liverpool (5/1 Premier League Outright) were unable to defend their Premier League crown last term but with key figures back from injury Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to mount a challenge to Manchester City (4/6) in 2021-22.
The Reds landed their first top-flight title since 1990 when easing to glory in 2019-20, however, they had to scrap for a spot in the top four last time around.
Injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Fabinho left Klopp struggling for senior defensive options and subsequently saw a 68-game unbeaten home run in the league come to an end.
Liverpool went on to lose six in a row at Anfield, slipping down to eighth in the standings, although a 10-game unbeaten streak, which included eight victories, helped them to finish third.
Hopes for the New Season
Liverpool embark on every campaign with the ambition of winning silverware and, after failing to lift any last term, that will be the target again in 2021-22.
There is no doubting that those aforementioned injuries had a major impact on Liverpool’s ability to compete last season and it was no surprise to see them end without a single trophy.
They exited both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup in the fourth round and were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.
Central defender Ibrahima Konate is the only new addition to the squad so far this summer, joining from RB Leipzig for £36million but Klopp is expected to delve further into the transfer market.
The departure of Georginio Wijnaldum has potentially opened up a slot for a new midfielder and Klopp might need to freshen up his options to close the gap on Manchester City.
Arrivals and Departures
Ibrahima Konate – £36million RB Leipzig
Georgino Wijnaldum – Free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain
Kamil Grabara – £3million to Copenhagen
Liam Millar – £1.3million to Basel
Marko Grujic – £10.5million to Porto
Taiwo Awoniyi – £6.5million to Union Berlin
Harry Wilson – £12million to Fulham
Mohamed Salah (4/1 Premier League Top Goalscorer) is often lauded as Liverpool’s star man but the absence of centre-back Virgil van Dijk highlighted his importance to the squad last term.
Van Dijk sustained an ACL injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton in October and subsequently spent the rest of 2020-21 on the sidelines.
The 30-year-old missed out on the Netherlands’ Euro 2020 campaign but he has been involved in pre-season and looks set to be ready for Liverpool’s season-opener at Norwich on August 14 (Match Betting – Norwich 15/2, draw 9/2, Liverpool 2/7).
Liverpool’s title success in 2019-20 was built a strong defensive platform, conceding the fewest goals in the division, and the return of Van Dijk could help to propel them back into the conversation at the top of the standings.
We’ve become very familiar with Klopp’s heavy-metal football over recent years but with several key members of the band missing last season, Liverpool failed to hit the right notes.
Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino ran into problems in the final third last term and getting that trio back firing on a regular basis will be essential for Klopp.
The German did add Diogo Jota to the mix last term in the hope of spicing things up and he did impress when steering clear of injury.
Liverpool struck fear into their opponents in the season prior, getting on the front foot early and overwhelming them, something Klopp will be keen to see them do again in 2021-22.
Klopp has always put faith in his full-backs to get deep into opposition territory with Trent Alexander-Arnold, who signed a new contract on Friday, and Andy Robertson both capable of delivering.
Last season – 3rd.