Liverpool‘s 2022/23 Premier League campaign didn’t get off to the best of starts last weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s side played newly-promoted Fulham in their opening match and were lucky to leave Craven Cottage with a point.
A late goal from Mohamed Salah secured a 2-2 draw for Liverpool after Aleksandar Mitrovic had put the hosts 2-1 ahead from the penalty spot.
The Serbian striker scored both of Fulham’s goals on the day, with summer signing Darwin Nunez bagging Liverpool’s other after coming off the bench when his team were 1-0 down.
Liverpool simply cannot afford slip ups of the nature seen at Fulham if they’re to pip Pep Guardiola’s side to the Premier League title in 2022/23.
Most people believe City are simply too strong this season, mainly due to the addition of Erling Haaland, and believe the Reds will have to settle for second once again as a result.
However, former France international William Gallas has gone a step further and thinks Liverpool could miss out on a place in the top four.
Yes, you did read that correctly.
And why has he made that prediction? Well, the former Premier League centre-back believes Luis Diaz cannot fill the void left by Sadio Mane, who joined Bayern Munich this summer and scored on his Bundesliga debut against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Gallas’ bold prediction about Liverpool in 2022/23
“As an ex-London player, I have to say Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham to win the Premier League,” he told Genting Casino, per Liverpool Echo.
“On top four, Liverpool can miss out because they don’t have Sadio Mane anymore and Diaz does not have the same impact.
“Liverpool always concede goals too, like we saw against Fulham. Even if I like how Liverpool play, I think it will be City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.”
The loss of Mane is a huge blow for Liverpool, as he was key to the club’s success in the Klopp era. In 269 games for the Reds across all competitions, the Senegalese icon bagged 120 goals, an extraordinary return for a winger.
Diaz will struggle to replicate both those figures and Mane’s overall on-pitch impact, although the former FC Porto man was impressive in the second half of last season – so who knows, he could well do.
Gallas also criticised Liverpool’s defensive record, which seems incredibly harsh given they had the joint-best goals conceded record in the 2021/22 Premier League season (26 GA, along with Man City).
Mitrovic’s brace last Saturday clearly had a significant impact on Gallas’ prediction…