It’s hard to predict a Liverpool title success this season despite spending on a level never seen before. The bank has been proverbially broken several times to recruit Alisson, Naby Keita and Fabinho over the summer, with Xherdan Shaqiri also arriving at Anfield and there haven’t been any notable exits unless you regard Emre Can as such.
Mohamed Salah has signed a shiny new contract, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are raring to go after World Cup duty and Liverpool are looking to build on last season’s fourth place finish and their Champions League final placing.
Even so, it’s still hard to predict a title win considering it has now been twenty-eight years since the Merseyside team finished top of the first division / Premier League, with more false dawns than you’ve had hot dinners. The best bookmakers seem to think so too.
Liverpool to Challenge City?
Paddy Power have them priced at 4/1 second favourites on the outright market, giving us an indication that they could be the main challengers to Manchester City this season, with Jurgen Klopp feeling as though this could be the campaign where his team can be champions of England.
The German has cultivated a fluent playing style which centres around that famous front three, with Keita likely to play in a deeper role alongside Jordan Henderson, while Fabinho is likely to be positioned in front of the back four.
It’s an exciting prospect and West Ham might feel the wrath of a team who started banging them in during pre-season and will look to get off to a typically fast start against a new-look team with a new manager.
Manuel Pellegrini has returned to these shores after landing a lucrative gig to manager a West Ham team who have lurched from one crisis to another under a succession of managers, with the supporters still uneasy about watching their football at the London Stadium.
West Ham Unafraid to Splash the Cash
The Chilean has been given the keys to the war chest and we’ve seen Felipe Anderson arrive for a staggering £40 million, although perhaps there is a reason why no other Premier League club has taken a punt on a player who has spent the past five seasons at Lazio.
Andriy Yarmolenko has also been recruited for a large fee and Jack Wilshere has been housed in the squad despite being surplus to requirements at Arsenal, with the former England midfielder hoping for an injury-free season and the adulation of the Hammers supporters.
Marko Arnautovic was the star turn last season but he might struggle to get any change from the rock-like Virgil van Dijk who has been marshalling the Liverpool defence effectively since his big money move from Southampton.
Indeed, Alisson’s arrival means that Liverpool now have Brazil’s number one stopping the opposition shots, with the emergence of Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold as exciting full-backs meaning that it’s hard to pick any faults with this team.
West Ham could be left chasing shadows on Sunday afternoon, with Issa Diop about to enjoy a baptism of fire after arriving from Toulouse for £22 million, while the same applies to young right-back Ryan Fredericks who has made the switch from Fulham and will be tasked with trying to tame the speedy Mane, whose odds are 9/2 for First Goalscorer with Ladbrokes.