Liverpool Season Preview
Ahead of the new Premier League season, Sky Sports examines Liverpool's strengths and weaknesses as well as giving you the chance to select your preferred Reds XI...
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 14/08/14 11:59am
Are Liverpool ready for another tilt at the Premier League title? Here's the lowdown on what's new at Anfield this season...
Liverpool were the Premier League entertainers last season and nearly went all the way only to trip up in the final weeks of a campaign that surpassed all expectations. Those demands are back to the levels that might be considered customary for five-time European champions and the question now is whether the Reds can build on their successes to launch another convincing bid for the Premier League title.
The loss of Luis Suarez represents a damaging blow but Liverpool were handsomely rewarded by Barcelona for the striker’s services and Brendan Rodgers has busily assembled a host of new names to keep fans optimistic about the future. Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren have arrived from Southampton, while the versatile Emre Can and talented winger Lazar Markovic boast promising reputations and are young enough to fulfil them.
Skipper Steven Gerrard will be aiming to bounce back from what he has acknowledged were the most disappointing few months of his career. After being partially culpable for the failure to get his club over the line in the Premier League, England World Cup woe added to his misery and Gerrard will have to take more responsibility than ever with Suarez gone. But having shed his international duties he’ll hope to stay fit and will no doubt relish the return of big European nights to Anfield.
Liverpool have added depth to the squad to cover the loss of Suarez but as Tottenham found out with Gareth Bale, replacing a world-class player with sheer weight of numbers isn’t always a recipe for success. With Gerrard now 34 and the added pressure of a Champions League fixture list to contend with, it could be a huge challenge to match last season’s domestic efforts.
Sky Bet Title odds – 10/1
- Daniel Sturridge’s goals won Liverpool 20 points last season, more than any other player in the Premier League.
- Liverpool and Fulham were the only teams not to be involved in any 0-0 draws last season.
- Liverpool were awarded 12 penalties last season, five more than any other team in the Premier League.
It’s very difficult to replace a genius like Luis Suarez. In fact, it’s virtually impossible. Liverpool are still a centre forward short and the pressure is on Rickie Lambert. You can’t compare a £4m player to an £85m player. Rickie is going to be a really good squad player but the main man this year has to be Daniel Sturridge. I think he’ll play a lot of games up front on his own and will have to take on a lot of responsibility. I can see them finishing fourth and that will be a great season for them, considering they’ve lost Suarez and will have the added impact of playing in the Champions League. The amount of time they had off because they weren’t playing in Europe last season was a huge benefit to them and Brendan Rodgers is going to have to manage their recovery well.