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Last Updated August 11 2018, 21:22Football
The time is now for Liverpool after going big in the transfer market
The time is now for Liverpool after going big in the transfer market

Now is the time for Liverpool after a huge summer of spending gives Jurgen Klopp every chance of launching a serious challenge to Manchester City's Premier League crown.

A glorious but unexpected run to the Champions League final on their return to the competition saw the Reds riding high on a wave of optimism, but lost in it all was the fact they finished a whopping 25 points behind Champions Man City.

They were one of only two teams to beat the runaway Premier League winners, and also defeated Pep Guardiola's side twice in the Champions League.

Although he may have Guardiola's number, Klopp was thwarted by three things - a lack of consistency, individual mistakes and an inability to hang on to winning positions - no team lost more points from being in front last season.


Liverpool bets for 2018/19 (odds via Sky Bet)

  • 5/6 - Shaqiri to score 10+ Premier League goals
  • 7/4 - Liverpool to win their opening three Premier League games
  • 11/1 - Liverpool to finish in top two in Premier League & win the FA Cup
  • 4/5 - Liverpool to finish higher than Man Utd

Click here for these and other Liverpool season RequestABets frm Sky Bet


How Klopp has improved Liverpool's chances

Naby Keita
Naby Keita had to wait a year but finally joined Liverpool this summer

Liverpool undoubtedly won the transfer window, and the most impressive aspect was how Klopp filled the glaring holes in his squad and only bought players who would challenge for a start.

The expected capture of Alisson for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper is a major upgrade on Loris Karius, whose two mistakes cost the Reds in the Champions League final, and Simon Mignolet, and should go a long way to solving a problem which has been an issue for several years.

Virgil van Dijk, the world's most expensive defender, visibly improved the team in the five months since joining in January from Southampton and his influence will grow further.


PFA Player of the Year (Sky Bet odds)


In midfield, Klopp, who expects the knee injury sustained by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in April to rule him out for the entire season, has doubled up with the acquisitions of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig and Fabinho from Monaco.

"Naby comes from Leipzig, knows the football philosophy, it's a very similar one," Klopp said. "Monaco played a completely different style, so Fabinho probably needs more time to adapt to that.

"If you want to be part of our squad you need to be good, and these two boys are."

Ox injury a blow but more options for Klopp this year

Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates for Liverpool
Xherdan Shaqiri scored an absolute stunner for Liverpool against Man Utd

Keita will provide the energy and drive lost in Oxlade-Chamberlain's absence, while his fellow new arrival adds a defensive screen - something Liverpool have not had since the days of Javier Mascherano.

If Adam Lallana can stay fit after a number of niggles last season then he will do the same, while another new signing - Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri - offers an option out wide to cover for Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.

Should Klopp get anywhere near a full campaign out of the injury-plagued Daniel Sturridge, who has looked sharp in pre-season, it would make the side even more potent than they were in the previous campaign and negate the need to strengthen a forward line which scored 90 goals between them.


Premier League Golden Boot (Sky Bet odds)

  • 5/1 - Mohamed Salah
  • 25/1 - Roberto Firmino
  • 50/1 - Sadio Mane

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Klopp has finally assembled a squad which should be able to challenge City on a more consistent basis.

"I think Liverpool are very close, I think they are knocking on the door," he said.

"They have a terrific manager leading the charge and they have started making improvements and, as a fan and an ex-player, it is great to see."

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Conor Hourihane celebrates with his Aston Villa team-mates after scoring in the Carabao Cup1

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