Winning the toss when playing Liverpool at Anfield doesn’t mean much these days

Jurgen Klopp may not be ready to admit it, but his Liverpool side are genuine title contenders this season.

The Reds may have finished fourth in the Premier League in 2017-18 but their run to the Champions League final highlighted the potential of Klopp’s team.

And that team has only improved following the arrivals of Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker in the summer.

Liverpool entered the season as the second favourites to win the title behind Manchester City and their performance against West Ham on Sunday only served to increase the confidence on Merseyside.

They cruised to a 4-0 victory, with Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge and Sadio Mane, who scored a brace, on the scoresheet.

Klopp will hope that it’s the start of a good run of form – especially at home.

It was on the road where Liverpool had their biggest difficulties last season – their five defeats all came in away matches.

Liverpool’s impressive Anfield stat

Liverpool won 12 of their 19 league games at Anfield in 2017-18. In Europe, they defeated Manchester City, Roma and beat Spartak Moscow 7-0.

Anfield has become a fortress since Klopp’s arrival and one statistic that highlights their dominance in front of their own fans has now emerged.

There’s a long-held belief that asking Liverpool to kick towards the Kop in the first half is better for opposing clubs. It’s the most vocal section of the stadium and can get incredibly loud during the latter stages of the match.

But Liverpool are just as effective attacking the Anfield Road End in the final 45 minutes.

On Sunday, West Ham thought they could get an edge after they won the toss and asked Liverpool to play towards the Kop in the first half.

But they were 2-0 down at half-time and the game was pretty much out of sight.

Per the Liverpool Echo, it’s been nearly four years since Liverpool last lost a home game when they had to attack the Kop in the first half.

Real Madrid came to Anfield in October 2014 and won the toss. They came away with a 3-0 win.

Manchester City tried to do the same thing last season in the Champions League.

But the Citizens went on to lose 4-3, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain getting the Kop going with the opening goal in the ninth minute.

It just doesn’t matter what end Liverpool play towards.

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