Liverpool Football Club
Position last season: 8th
Premier League title odds: 33/1
Players in: Joe Allen (Swansea, £15m), Fabio Borini (Roma, £10m).
Players out: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina, free), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce, £1m), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys, undisclosed), David Amoo (Preston, free), Fabio Aurelio (Gremio, free), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff, free), Stephen Darby (Bradford City, free), Lewis Hatch (Accrington Stanley, free), Joe Rafferty (Rochdale, free), Toni Silva (Barnsley, free), Connor Wearing (Shrewsbury, free).
Net spend: £24million
Opening fixture: West Bromwich Albion, The Hawthorns (Referee: Phil Dowd)
Predicted finish: 6th
Key Man: Steven Gerrard
The Liverpool captain has been the key man at Anfield for what seems like an eternity, but injury problems have recently prevented the central midfielder from making a major impact on the side.
At 32-years-old, time is no longer on the side of the 96-cap England international, but he’s determined to be the driving force in a new Reds era led by manager Brendan Rodgers.
Gerrard has played down talk of moving into a deep-lying midfield role, insisting he can continue to make lung-busting runs forward and score vital goals for the side.
Under the new Northern Irish manager, Liverpool should play football with a new style and swagger that will certainly fit well with Gerrard’s style of play, and this could be a big season for the club legend.
Whilst Kenny Dalglish delivered a trophy in the shape of the League Cup, erratic form in the Premier League made it hard for the club’s American owners to stick with the club legend.
After Swansea City’s successful season in the English top flight, manager Rodgers was poached by the Merseyside hierarchy, and given a remit to get the club playing good football in pursuit of a place in the Champions League.
Rodgers got the Swans doing just that with the ball on the deck, and Liverpool fans will be hoping he can work his magic on a number of players who under-performed last season. After a handful of friendly matches, the jury is still out.
With Europa League football on Liverpool’s agenda, the players could be stretched to the limit with regular Thursday-Sunday fixtures. But, if Rodgers can manage the workload for his top stars, then a legitimate challenge for the top four could be on the cards.
However, FSG will see this campaign as a year of change, and expect bigger and better things next season as the club look to put themselves back on the map with Europe’s elite. In twelve months time, the Champions League places will be an absolute must.
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