The European Champions are looking to go one better domestically this season.
Last season was an astonishing one from the Merseysiders, losing just the once in the top flight to Manchester City in January. They couldn’t quite topple Pep Guardiola though.
The Reds achieved 97 points, a feat only bettered by the ‘Cityzens’ in the previous two seasons, but may struggle to achieve as highly this season.
Key performances featured mostly in the back-line, with the additions of Alisson and Fabinho helping to secure their previously leaky defence. Virgil van Dijk won PFA Player of the Year in his first full season, and wing-twins Salah and Mane scored 22 times each, winning the golden boot alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It’s been a quiet window so far for Jurgen Klopp with no first-team signings arriving at Anfield.
Harvey Elliott and Sepp van den Berg have come in but the teenagers are unlikely to feature extensively in 2019/20. The returning Rhian Brewster and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from long-term injuries could act as new signings for the six-time European champions.
After losing Alberto Moreno and Daniel Sturridge among others it may seem that the Reds lack depth, but this season could be one of consolidation for Jurgen Klopp, and a chance for a prospering youth setup to show their worth on the first team platform.
August 9th – Norwich (H)
The Reds should get this one comfortably against the Championship winners. Unbeaten at Anfield in 40 league matches, a victory should be on the cards.
August 17th – Southampton (A)
A tough test away at a rejuvenated Saints in their first full season under Ralph Hassenhuttl. The Reds should squeeze it but there is potential for an upset here.
August 24th – Arsenal (H)
Unbeaten under Klopp against Arsenal, the Reds have scored 15 goals in their last four games against the Gunners at Anfield. The last was a 5-1 win in December.
August 31st – Burnley (A)
Another difficult test early on, a trip to Turf Moor is one which no side relishes in English football. Dyche will be set up for set pieces and solid defending, and another potential for upset.
September 14th – Newcastle (H)
A fixture which always intrigues, two huge clubs from the North go to battle again in the Reds fifth encounter of 2019/20. Again, I always back Klopp’s men at Anfield.
September 22nd – Chelsea (A)
The first of the ‘big six’ that Liverpool play away from home, Chelsea will be a different and unknown prospect under Frank Lampard. I think it will be tight, either a draw or a Reds win.
For the Future – Klopp backs youngsters this season
“These boys, they are our future if they want to be our future. That’s how it is, and for that they need to take all the steps. But for them, this pre-season is, of course, exciting.
“So we need all of them, and it’s nice and using only as an example…Paul Glatzel and Bobby Duncan, wow. Our offensive line, that played most of last year, are coming pretty late to join us in the pre-season so there will be moments of course when they have to play and not only Tranmere or whatever but for sure in America as well.
“When you are already in the club, then the door is always open for you to the first team, the only thing is you have to go through by yourself. We only open the door, we don’t push you through it.
“So I’m open, I’m very open for exciting football players and if the boys show up, good for them and good for us.”
What to expect?
For Liverpool its about balancing expectation with reality.
2019/20 could be the season which they finally break their title duck, which of course will be Klopp’s target. But is it viable?
Without investment I expect a good season where the Reds challenge more in domestic cup competitions and perhaps gun for another big European title. There are seven trophies possible this season, and Jurgen Klopp would want to come home with at least four if all goes to plan.
Expected starting XI – 4-3-3
Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson
Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson
Salah, Mane, Firmino