Thursday, July 19, 2018

Liverpool could be genuine title contenders next season

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Watching Liverpool destroy champions-elect Manchester City 5-1 over two legs in the Champions League quarter-final, I get this horrible feeling that the Reds are not too far away from a genuine challenge for the Premier League title.

I sound like that skit on Liverpool fans who tend to say ‘This is our year’. However, I genuinely feel like Jurgen Klopp could be the man to end the Reds English title drought. If they win the Champions League, I really may have to consider leaving the city, as the gloating may be too much for me. Heaven help us Evertonian’s if Klopp’s side do somehow win the league next season.

Showed their quality against City

Joking apart, the Reds were outstanding in their two-legged clash with City, who on their day arguably the best team in Europe at the minute. Going forward they were annoying good with the trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in good form in both legs.

When you have such good attacking players, you always have a chance of getting something out of games, no matter your opponent. Salah continues to thrive in a red shirt. The Egyptian now has 39 goals this season in all competitions.

The only downside to that for the Reds is that the Spanish vultures of Barcelona and Real Madrid will now be eying the winger up.

People will say he is not for sale, but both giants tend to get their man if they are interested in a player. The players also tend to be interested in the move, as the pair are considered the two biggest clubs in Europe, no matter how they perform in the Champions League in Barca’s case.

Any regular readers of my editorials will know my feelings on the underrated Firmino and Mane compliments the duo perfectly.

Defence is improving

Rather worryingly for the rest of the Premier League, Liverpool are not the soft touch in defence that they once were in the past. For much of Klopp’s reign, the Reds you could always count on the Reds producing a comedy defensive mishap or just completely forget to defend.

However, in recent months Klopp’s team have started looking more solid. January signing Virgil van Dijk has helped steady things at the back so that Dejan and Joel Chuckle could be relieved of their duties as Liverpool centre-backs.

Underrated Scottish international Andrew Robertson has also looked far more solid at left-back than the rightly maligned Alberto Moreno. The fact that Klopp’s team have conceded just three goals in their last eight outings in all competitions shows the defensive improvement from the Merseysiders.

While Van Dijk has proven to be a good signing, a quality partner for Dutch man-mountain would make the Reds defence an even more solid unit, especially with highly-rated central midfielder Naby Keita joining in the summer from RB Leipzig.

Will be real title contenders next season

It would be a massive surprise if Liverpool were not realistic title contenders for next season. They have shown in the Champions League just what they can do. However, they have to keep playing in a consistent manner, something that has been their downfall in the last few seasons. With a couple of key additions in the summer, the Reds could very well win the title (god help us).

Before we get to the summer and next season Jurgen Klopp’s men still have a chance of unexpected winning the Champions League, which the Reds are odds of 10/3 to do this season.

As an Everton fan, it is horrible to watch, because we know that any success the Reds have we will be hearing about it for the next 20 years. Please, Cristiano, Mr Lewandowski or Edin stop the Klopp army to spare us from the gloating for next two decades.

Does Champions League triumph over City prove Liverpool could be title contenders next season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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