Liverpool are under-prepared for the new season according to Mark Lawrenson

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Mark Lawrenson has expressed concern over Liverpool's pre-season preparations and believes they could be in for a rude awakening when they play competitive football.

The Reds are unbeaten in pre-season after winning three games and drawing once during their tour of the far east and Australia.

Liverpool still have to play HJK Helsinki in Finland and Swindon Town before they meet Stoke City on August 9 for their first game of the new Premier League campaign.


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The match against League One outfit Swindon is arguably Brendan Rodgers' side's toughest game which comes just one week before they travel to the Britannia Stadium.

And Lawrenson feels Liverpool could lack the competitive edge against Stoke, the same team who thrashed them 6-1 on the final day of last season.

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"I’m a little concerned Liverpool could be undercooked going into the new campaign," the Match Of The Day pundit wrote in his column for the Liverpool Echo.

"We haven’t really faced any opposition of note yet, and the scheduled remaining friendly matches don’t look capable of changing that.

"We know all too well that going to Stoke City on the opening day isn’t going to be easy. The players who featured in the 6-1 defeat there on the final day of last season are no doubt still smarting from that embarrassment.

"But knowing what Stoke is like and actually dealing with it are two completely different things. I worry one or two players will have strolled through pre-season, then be alarmed as soon as the real stuff starts."

Fast Start

Rodgers and owners, Fenway Sports Group, will have have a burning desire to finish in the top-four this season. Liverpool finished an underwhelming sixth last term despite spending over £100 million on new recruits last summer and Rodgers almost lost his job following the effort.

To gain a spot in the Champions League, a quick start to the season is not just wanted but is an absolute necessity. Last term, the Reds managed just 14 points from their opening ten games and their backs were against the wall to make up the lost ground.

In contrast, when Liverpool went within a whisker of winning the Premier League in the 2013/14 campaign, they clinched 20 points from their first nine games and put themselves in prime position to not just finish in the top-four but challenge for the league.

Origi Concerns

One thing that let the five time European Cup winners down last term was their inability to score goals. They were distinctly toothless in the final third and racked up a tally of just 52 goals in the league, the third worst tally of those who finished in the top ten behind Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur.

Rodgers has recognised he has to improve his firing line and spent £32.5 million on Christian Benteke from Aston Villa and Danny Ings has joined on a free transfer from Burnley.

Liverpool have also seen the arrival of Divock Origi. He made his £10 million move from Lille last summer, but remained at the Ligue 1 outfit for the 2014-15 season.

Origi has impressed for his country, racking up three goals from 13 games at the tender age of 20 and many have predicted he will have a big season at Anfield.

However, Lawrenson feels that Origi could struggle in his first year in the Premier League.

"One player I doubt we’ll see in the starting line-up at the Britannia Stadium is Divock Origi," he added.

"I don’t see him as an out-and-out striker, at least not yet. He’s still young and you can tell he is very much learning his trade. When everybody is fit, in the first few months I’d imagine Origi will be mainly used as a substitute to stretch teams when coming on late on."

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Christian Benteke
Divock Origi
Premier League

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