Three months after Manchester City claimed a second successive title at on a sunny day at the Amex Stadium, the drama, thrills and excitement that is associated with the premier league returns when Liverpool kick off this campaign with a clash against Norwich under the floodlights of Anfield on Friday night.
The Reds suffered heartbreak last season after they were beaten to the title by Manchester City by just a single point. The six-time European champions finished with 97 points- a tally that would have been enough to win the league in 25 of the previous 26 seasons.
But despite their impressive campaign where they lost just once in 38 league games as City clinched the title by the narrowest of margins.
Although they found consolation by winning their sixth European Cup when they beat Tottenham in the final of the UEFA champions league, they will be looking to go all the way in the league this season.
While they have failed to make any major signings so far, they have kept the core part of the squad that made history last season with fringe players like Alberto Moreno, Daniel Sturridge and Simon Mignolet the only ones to have left the club.
However, their preseason form has been patchy with Klopp’s men only winning once in five preseason matches. They did show encouraging signs however in the community shield against Man City, although they still lost on penalties.
But it was a game they should have won in the normal time as they were the better team for most parts of the game, particularly in the second half.
Nevertheless, the Reds attention turns to the Premier League where they will attempt to wrestle the crown away from City. Klopp’s men began their quest for a top-flight title since 1990 when they welcome Norwich in the opening clash of the 2019/2020 campaign.
The Canaries are making a return to the top flight after five years in the second division. Last season championship winners will be hoping to avoid a drop but they face a tough opening clash against Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Aside from long term absentee Nathaniel Clyne, Jurgen Klopp almost has a fully fit squad to pick from after Sadio Mane returned from holiday on Monday. The Senegal international missed the clash against Man City as he was given an extended break due to his exertions at the Africa Cup of Nations where Senegal reached the final, losing to Algeria.
It is however not sure if he will be thrown in right from the start, but if he starts from the bench, the Origi will likely be his replacement. The Belgian international star has somehow revived his career following his exploits in Liverpool’s run to champions league victory last season.
James Milner is expected to recover from a muscle injury that kept him out of the clash against Pep’s team. New signing, Adrian who was brought in as a cover for Alisson Becker following the exit of Simon Mignolet to Club Brugge is expected to settle for a place on the bench.
Meanwhile, Norwich will be without Christoph Zimmerman, Louis Thompson and Alexander Tettey who have all been ruled out due to injuries.
Liverpool: Alisson, Trent Alexander Arnold, Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Gini Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Salah, Mane, Firmino
Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Hanley, Lewis, Cantwell, Buendia, Stiepermann, Trybull, McLean, Pukki
Predictions: The Premier League is known for its surprises, but it will still be a huge one if Norwich gets anything from the game. The Reds should have too much firepower to see the Canaries off easily. Also playing in front of a hostile Anfield crowd makes it more difficult for Norwich. Liverpool 4-0 Norwich