With the coveted Premier League title finally in their bag this time around, Liverpool will come into this season as a far more confident unit.
Last season finish: Champions in Premier League (32-3-3, 99 points)
Head coach: Jurgen Klopp
2019-20 PL top scorer: Sadio Mane (19 goals)
Other Trophies: UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
The tag of being the defending champions in Premier League not only gives you respect and validation but also brings an enormous amount of pressure with it. Only one team has been able to retain the title successfully in the last 11 years of the league and that is Manchester City. So it sums up how difficult the task is going to be for Liverpool this time.
However, the Reds are quite used to being under pressure as they had been without a Premier League title in the last three decades. So with the coveted title in their bag this time around, they will come into this season as a far more confident unit.
Not only the Premier League, but Jurgen Klopp's men have also won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup in the space of the last two years. Such a run of form only goes on to tell about the kind of success this team has enjoyed in the recent past and with almost the same unit at their disposal this time as well, only bigger and better things can be expected.
Issues Liverpool encountered last season
It is generally hard to point out any issue in a champion squad but Liverpool do have some areas to be concerned about. Roberto Firmino's scoring form is one of them. The Liverpool center forward began the last season quite well but his shooting boots went quiet once the season kept progressing towards the latter stages.
Their early exits from Champions League and FA Cup also showed that maybe they need to be a bit more defence-minded in high-stake matches. Although they didn't encounter any major issues in the midfield, Klopp should remember that James Milner (34) and Jordan Henderson (30) are ageing players and he needs to prepare young options as their replacements for the future.
Have Liverpool's issues been fixed?
Klopp hasn't gone for any big-budget buys this summer transfer market and that means Firmino is still in his plans, in whose abilities Klopp has firm faith in. As far as the defensive organisation is considered, their FA Community Shield loss to Arsenal only proved that Klopp is yet to alter his defensive strategy in such games where the stakes are high.
The Liverpool defence pushes forward a lot and that gives the opposition plenty of opportunities to go on the charge during counterattacks. An attacking formation does bring the best out of the two Liverpool fullbacks -- Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson -- but Klopp has to understand that it is costing the team crucial matches. On a positive note, the Reds' manager has brought a good backup option for the left-back position this time in Konstantinos Tsimikas from Olympiacos.
As far as the midfield is considered, Thiago Alcantara has been a long term target for Klopp now. Although some reports state that Alcantara has a high chance of staying with Bayern Munich this season, Klopp has clearly not given up negotiations. Moreover, we might see the likes of Neco Williams, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones getting some game time this season as they could be potential options for replacing the likes of Henderson and Milner once they are past their prime.
Predictions for 2020/21 Season
Liverpool's formidable form last season meant that they won the Premier League quite comfortably. The underperformance of the other big clubs only made the job easier for the Reds. However, the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea have built a formidable squad for this edition and Manchester United look in good shape too. So retaining the title is going to be tougher than ever for Klopp but considering the depth of their squad, they should still make it to the top three easily by the end of the season. Winning the Premier League again might be tricky but Liverpool definitely have the ammunition required to lay their hands on other major trophies like the Champions League.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis