We at 32 Flags are previewing every team in the English Premier League, two teams a day until the beginning of the season. Get ready as we preview your favorite team or maybe we can help you pick a team to root for if you are undecided so far. Today, we’re covering Liverpool.
Founded – 1892
Last Year Position - 2nd place (Champions League)
Transfers In (As of 8/7) - Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren, Divock Origi, Javier Manquillo (On Loan)
Transfers Out (As of 8/7) - Luis Suarez, Conor Coady, Jose Manuel Reina, Luis Alberto (Loan), Iago Aspas (Loan), Andre Wisdom (Loan), Divock Origi (Loan), Brad Smith (Loan)
Projected Finish (Voted among 32 Flags staff) - 4th place
Rivalries - North-West Derby with Manchester United (Dec 13 and Mar 21), Merseyside Derby with Everton (Sept 27 and Feb 7) and Chelsea (Nov 8 and May 9)
Famous Supporters - Samuel Jackson, Nelson Mandela, Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, among many others
Last season was nothing short of phenomenal for Liverpool. It was exciting, intense, and made the fans dream again, if it didn’t kill them from multiple heart attacks caused by stress. Nobody expected them to challenge for the title, let alone be in the driver’s seat a month before the end of the season. It was a close race, and two bad games against Chelsea and Crystal Palace were all it took to hand the title to Manchester City. This year, Liverpool will have to cope with more expectation and the challenge of Champions League soccer without talisman Luis Suarez. Retaining Champions League is the minimum expectation, and Liverpool will be left hungry to go one step further after last season’s heartbreak.
Where Liverpool would place this season was the most hotly debated topic when we decided the league table that we would use for these previews. This largely comes down to how we felt Liverpool would cope without Suarez and with Champions League. There also is a lingering worry that they might “pull a Spurs”, in reference to Tottenham’s selling of their best player, Gareth Bale, last season and then failing to properly replace him. Most people who follow the club closely disagree strongly with this worry, however, noting the fact that each player brought in by Liverpool follow the team’s philosophy and clearly fit into the team. Many of Liverpool’s weaknesses from last season are currently being covered, such as squad depth and their leaky defense. Lovren is expected to greatly boost Liverpool’s defensive capabilities, becoming the defensive leader they desperately needed, and slotting in next to Mamadou Sakho or Martin Skrtel in the starting lineup.
This season should be exciting for Liverpool fans and neutrals. Liverpool play a high intensity, high pressing, attacking soccer. They were the most watched team in the EPL last season and for good reason. The loss of Suarez and the extra games that come with Champions League are a big question mark, however. I believe that if Liverpool click, there’s no reason they couldn’t place higher than the 4th place finish we gave them. Liverpool have a great young manager in Brendan Rodgers, who has a strong philosophy. They have last season’s 2nd highest goal scorer in Daniel Sturridge, and a bevy of exciting players. Finally, they don’t need to replace Suarez’s astronomical amount of goals, they just need to stop letting so many in. If they can do that, and add ten goals from the midfield, they can place 3rd and keep the two above them, Chelsea and Manchester City, sweating in what could be one of the most exciting title races in years.