Totally Buzzed is previewing every single Premier League team ahead of the 2021/2022 campaign and now it is the turn of Liverpool.
How last season went:
After finally winning their first Premier League title in style in the 2019-20 season, optimism around Anfield was high ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, but nothing really went to plan. Jurgen Klopp’s side were dealt blow after blow when it came to injuries and as a result, they never really looked to be in with a good shout of retaining their title as they struggled to rack up the results expected of them. When you consider the likes of Everton, Fulham and Brighton were among the sides to register wins at Anfield last season, it says a lot. However, the Reds did end the season strongly, winning eight of their last 10 league games in order to finish a respectable third in the league. As for other competitions, it was a bit disappointing for the Reds. Bitter rivals Manchester United ousted Liverpool from the FA Cup in the fourth round by beating them 3-2, while Arsenal sent the Reds packing in the fourth round of the EFL Cup by defeating them via penalties. Real Madrid then proceeded to prove to be too much for Klopp’s team in the Champions League as they emerged with a 3-1 win on aggregate in the quarter-final stage of the tournament.
Liverpool’s Premier League Stats – 2020/21:
*According to the PremierLeague.com*
Liverpool Player Stats – 2020/21:
Top Scorer Across All Competitions: Mohamed Salah – 31 goals in 51 appearances (0.67 goals per 90 minutes, 135 minutes per goal)
Top Scorer – Premier League Only: Salah – 22 goals in 37 games (140 minutes per goal)
Most Assists Across All Competitions: Roberto Firmino – 9 assists in 48 matches (1 chance created per 90 minutes) and Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9 assists in 45 outings (1.93 chances created per 90 minutes)
Most Assists – Premier League Only: Sadio Mane – 8 assists in 35 appearances
Most Tackles Per Game (On Average) – Premier League Only: Thiago (2.5 per game)
Most Minutes Played Across Premier League Fixtures – Top 3:
- Andrew Robertson – 3386 minutes 2. Salah – 3082 minutes 3. Alexander-Arnold – 3033 minutes
1st five league fixtures:
Norwich City (A): Liverpool comfortably did the double over Norwich City in the 2019-20 season, the last time the Canaries were in the Premier League, as they recorded a 4-1 victory at Anfield before bagging a 1-0 victory at Carrow Road.
Burnley (H): Burnley achieved a memorable 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield in January, before the Reds got their revenge by beating Sean Dyche’s side 3-0 at Turf Moor in May.
Chelsea (H): Liverpool comfortably defeated Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in September, with the Blues playing the entire second-half with just 10-men due to Andreas Christensen seeing red. However, the Blues got revenge against Jurgen Klopp’s side in March as a Mount goal saw them earn a narrow 1-0 win at Anfield.
Leeds United (A): Liverpool and Leeds had a thrilling clash in September last year with Jurgen Klopp’s side just about leaving Anfield with all three points by earning a 4-3 victory. Yet the pair couldn’t be separated when clashing at Elland Road in April, with that fixture ending 1-1.
Crystal Palace (H): Liverpool smashed Palace 7-0 when visiting Selhurst Park in December and made it two wins out of two against the Eagles in the 2020-21 campaign in May by beating them 2-0 at Anfield.
Liverpool Fan Perspective: Tommy (@thekingofnothin on Twitter)
Best Player: Given the season we had last time out it’s hard to look past Virgil van Dijk for this. Mo Salah will score loads of goals, Trent and Robertson will bomb up and down the flanks and deliver assists but everyone saw the difficulties we had without a proper defence. Even if Gomez and Matip had gone down injured, if we kept van Dijk fit to marshal the defence I don’t think it would have been anywhere near as bad. He’s incredible. He’s big, he’s quick, he’s comfortable on the ball. He can do it all. If he comes back and gets up anywhere close to his usual level he’ll be a game-changer from how we were last season.
Promising youngster: Curtis Jones is the obvious one having played in the first team last season. With Gini leaving he might find himself playing even more, especially given Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fitness issues. Mateusz Musialowski has scored some brilliant goals for the U18s and looks very talented but I’d be surprised if he was involved. Harvey Elliot could make his breakthrough this season too. He did really well on loan with Blackburn and having had a season of proper football and development he could be a big part of the squad.
The player who is likely to surprise people (underrated/less known): I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tsimikas come into the team more this season and show what he can do as a realistic option to replace Robertson. He barely played last season which may suggest he’s not up to it but Klopp doesn’t like throwing new players in generally speaking and I think with all the injuries to our centre backs there was a big reluctance to change the full-backs so that we could keep some consistency and experience back there. With (hopefully) Virgil, Matip and Gomez back there’ll be a chance for them to play more and challenge Robertson. It would also be nice to see Keita go more than 5 or 6 games without an injury and put a proper run together.
Thoughts on the manager: Love him. Klopp won us the Champions League and Premier League and has built an incredible team. Yes, last season was disappointing but I wouldn’t really put much of that down to him. He’s a great motivator, has brought us great success and got the fan base behind him. Maybe he can be a bit stubborn, in terms of player selection and tactics but that’s a minor, minor gripe with someone who’s proven himself a brilliant manager.
Worried About/Weakness: Injuries and a slight lack of depth in some areas. If Trent Alexander-Arnold gets injured we’re short, if we don’t replace Gini in midfield I worry with how injury prone our midfield is and the depth up front maybe isn’t there. Firmino has had a poor couple of years and after Salah, Mane and Jota there is a big drop in quality. And given the rotten luck, we had with our centre backs getting injured last season I’m scared we won’t learn our lesson and history will repeat itself.
Dream Transfer: I mean it has to be Haaland or Mbappe doesn’t it? Two incredible young footballers and there’s a real feeling that we need extra quality upfront to help with rotation and keeping us at the top. I’d love to see Mbappe at Liverpool. The pace, the dribbling, the finishing, the confidence. He’s already a phenomenon and it’s hard to think of a better player to improve our attacking options.
Realistic Transfer: In terms of what we need this is probably narrowed down to midfielders or attackers. For midfield I’d love to see Renato Sanches join. He’s done really well to rebuild himself at Lille and looked very impressive in the matches he played for Portugal during Euro 2020. Whether he’d play regularly enough to be tempted to join us is another thing given how his time at Bayern went. Up front Donyell Malen would be a good signing. He’s got a great record at PSV, he’s still young with room for improvement and can play across the front. He likely wouldn’t mean breaking the bank either which would seem to fit with the current financial situation following the pandemic.
Player I fear leaving: Mo Salah is the only one from the current squad I’m worried about leaving before we would want him to. He’s been incredible since joining us but there’s always rumours about him leaving. I don’t imagine anything would happen until next summer at the earliest but I really hope he stays with us. Other than him I don’t see anyone leaving any time soon or pushing to leave before we’re ready to move them on.
League expectation: A challenge to get the title back. Manchester City seem likely to spend big, Chelsea will probably follow suit and Manchester United are doing the same so making sure we’re competitive in the league this season would be the aim I feel. If we can get back to that level again I think that would be a decent league season for us and hopefully then put us back in a position to win it again the year after.
League Prediction: 3rd. For the reasons stated above. City are very good and buying players to improve them, Chelsea will have a whole season of Tuchel in charge and probably several new players too which will see them improve. If we bring in a couple of players of good quality then maybe a little higher.
Biggest Rival This Season/Love It If We Beat them: Manchester United and Everton. Everton will be a strange one with Rafa now in charge but it’s always great beating them and we need to make sure they don’t get too comfortable in the derby since they finally ended their time without a win at Anfield. Manchester United is always a big one regardless of where either team is in the league.
Any Other Comments about Liverpool: Hopefully, we can have a good run in the Champions League or one of the domestic cups. While the FA Cup and League Cup are definitely on the lower end of the priorities winning trophies is always nice and we’ve not really lived up to expectations in the Champions League the last couple of seasons. With our injured defenders returning we should be in a decent position to make a strong run. And if we can shift the squad members who aren’t part of the plans then that money needs to go back into the squad for a couple of strong additions, otherwise, we risk treading water and getting left behind.