LIVERPOOL saw their hopes and dreams of winning the Premier League dashed this year as they were pipped at the post by fellow North Western rivals Manchester City.
The Reds had a devastating loss after finishing second with 84 points, while Manchester City beat West Ham United to leave them top of the league with 86. With such a close final result, Brendan Rodgers will surely be hoping he can strengthen the team’s weak spots and help secure their first ever Premier League victory in the 2014/25 season.
Liverpool will be kicking off the Premier League on 16th August with a match against Southampton, which should make for a particularly interesting game given the team’s recent transfers. Rodgers has poached both forward Rickie Lambert and midfielder Adam Lallana from Southampton, guaranteeing good chemistry between the two for their first match.
Despite the obvious awkwardness between the teams, bookmakers have given Liverpool odds of 1.06 to beat Southampton, setting the tone for a successful Premier League campaign.
However, many other shake ups could make or break the team in 2014. Namely, the loss of Luis Suárez will likely have a huge effect on the Reds as they enter into the Premier League this summer. The 27-year-old scored 32 goals for Liverpool last season, earning himself Player of the Month in December 2013.
However, his performance at the World Cup will forever put a black mark on his record. After biting defender Giorgio Chiellini in a heated match against Italy, the forward was given a nine match, four month ban, which drastically slashed Liverpool’s odds of winning the Premier League. The ban did nothing to stop Barcelona manager Luís Enrique Martínez García though, and he has now snapped up Suárez for £75 million.
Fans could argue that losing Suárez will have a positive effect on Liverpool however, and the team should focus on nurturing their newest members if they are to succeed this season. Joining Lambert and Lallana will be Benfica’s Lazar Markovic, recently signed for £20 million, along with Bayer Leverusen’s Emre Can at a cost of £9.8 million.
He may be young, but 20-year-old Can is tipped as the next Steven Gerrard, bringing with him to Liverpool his impressive skills in defence. Markovic, meanwhile, has proven himself to be a versatile player during his time with Benfica, and could operate in a wide role or behind a main striker.
Signing two 20-year-olds could be the vital injection of young blood that Liverpool needs to win the league, but whether or not Suárez’s departure could affect the boys remains to be seen.