Finally it begins. The Premier League season that is. Anfield will be hosting the first Premier League match of the season which sees Liverpool pitted up against opponents Stoke City. Fans will be proudly holding up their scarves, waving flags, and proudly be wearing the famous red shirt.
When I first watched a Premier League match, it was opening match. It saw Aston Villa face off against Fulham FC for the 2011-2012 season opener. A game which almost bored me to sleep.
However, even as the match wasn't at it's greatest potential, you could still feel that it was a special occasion. Almost like Christmas or New Year. The match ended 0-0 in what still remains as the single most boring football match I've ever seen, but no matter what team it is, one can just sense the excitement in an opening day match.
Liverpool have some of the best fans in the world, if not the best. We're talking about a crowd who inspired their team to the 2005 Champions League trophy, which is one of the best Champions League Final in history up to date.
This is a very important season for Brendan Rodgers and co, and anything less than Europe will be a massive disappointment. Liverpool are a club with high expectations, and Rodgers understood that when he joined the club.
So what do Liverpool have to do to give the paying customers at Anfield the three points they desperately need?
Old heroes have to show up. Not necessarily old in age, but in the idea that these are players that the Reds can call on. The likes of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, and Steven Gerrard have to have a big game.
These players will have to use their wits to beat Stoke City, who will no doubt be keen to impress new manager Mark Hughes. New heroes have to step up out of the shadows. Players like Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen must chip in with a goal or an assist. They must put in a good shift to lessen the load on those old heroes.
The Reds defense must be up to scratch on their defense. As I've mentioned before, they must be able to handle Stoke's physicality.
Their forwards will no doubt be trying to overpower the Liverpool defense. Communication between the two centre-halves are going to prove vital, especially in a match against Stoke. Agger and whoever he's paired up with will have to be on the same page at all times.
Contain the midfield. In most games, the team that controls the midfield will usually win. Liverpool's possession game helps them in terms of keeping the ball. Whoever wins the midfield battle will get the most chances on goal.
Lucas Leiva will need a huge game as players like Charlie Adam and Glen Whelan are going to provide long balls for the Stoke City strikers. If Liverpool's defence aren't prepared, they might hit a ball over the Liverpool defense and onto a streaking striker ready to shoot on goal.
One thing that helped Liverpool to be successful were the runs forward of Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson. Those will have to continue in order for Liverpool's attacks to be fruitful. Johnson an Downing worked well together, so it will be interesting to see who is on Johnson's side as Downing was sold to West Ham.
The last thing that Liverpool need for the three points are key substitutions. As a manager, making key substitutions could prove to be just as important as selecting your starting eleven. Rodgers has no shortage of good subs with the likes of Sterling, Ibe, and the possibilities of Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Jordan Henderson, and Oussama Assaidi being on the bench.
Liverpool will have to make sure that each of those key points are accomplished in the game. If not, they will face the media and will be having to answer some serious questions.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Stoke
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