Liverpool are being strongly fancied to mount a Premier League title challenge this season, from both pundits and journalists alike.
The Reds are about to embark on what should be another thrilling ride, with Jurgen Klopp building a magnificent squad for the new campaign.
Here’s how pundits and journalists are tipping Liverpool to fare in 2018/19.
The Guardian‘s Andy Hunter has, like so many, predicted Klopp’s men to finish the season as runners-up:
“The range and quality of options now available to the Liverpool manager are the strongest Anfield has witnessed for some time.
“The demands have increased also. Klopp has no problem with that.”
The Mirror‘s David Maddock believes European commitments could end up playing a pivotal role in the title race:
“Liverpool will run them close, and it could even hinge on their respective Champions’ League campaigns.”
A total of 24 BBC Sport pundits were asked to predict their eventual top four, with Liverpool hotly tipped to be no lower than second.
Ian Wright, Ruud Gullit and Martin Keown all backed the Reds to be champions in May and the only person who thinks they will be outside the top two is Dion Dublin.
“I think Liverpool could have something to say about what happens [this season].
“They’ve bought incredibly well and their manager just seems relentless in trying to cover up any problem areas.
“They’ve bought Alisson, of course we’ll have to see how he gets on but, he’s Brazil’s No. 1 and the spine of their team looks so strong.
“City were magnificent last season, the way they played. The energy they played with, they were tearing teams to ribbons at times.
“So for them to be overcome by Liverpool will be some effort but I think they can do it this year.”
Assessing Liverpool’s chances for the Mail, former Reds striker Peter Crouch backed them to be City’s biggest rivals:
“My old club have had the most impressive summer in terms of transfer business and friendly results have been encouraging.
“The build-up to the season has been smooth.
“If it clicks for Liverpool, they will be the team that comes closest to stopping Man City. They have been so exciting to watch and I can see it continuing.
“I know what it would mean to their fans if they went all the way.”
Liverpool legend Phil Thompson, on punditry duty for Sky Sports, likes the look of his old team but can’t see beyond City:
“I can’t be so optimistic to tip my team. I wish I could! I have to go for Man City.
“It’s still a lot of points to make up for Liverpool but we will be the nearest challengers this season.
“Our chance will come if City lose the knack of scoring late goals.
“If you look at how many points they accumulated in the final minutes, that’s how you win titles.
“Liverpool’s last eight to 10 games are kind so if they’re in contention at that stage then I think we’ll have a chance, but that is looking very far ahead.”
Even though he also expects City to prevail, Thompson’s Sky colleague Paul Merson is another who is impressed by Liverpool:
“I think Liverpool will give it a go, they’ve bought very well but watching Man City I couldn’t believe how good they were.
“Liverpool have to be patient—it’s like the Rangers-Celtic situation, they’ve just got to close the gap.”
Chris Sutton is generally a pain in the neck as a pundit, but he has had nice words to say about Klopp’s side, for the Mail, despite ultimately tipping City:
“Do Liverpool know how to beat City? Yes. Will their spending make it a tighter title race? Yes.
“Are they consistent enough to topple City? I’m not so sure.”
Writing for BetVictor another former Liverpool man, Michael Owen, talked up the Reds’ chances:
“I am convinced that Jurgen Klopp’s progressive side are the biggest danger to City this season and I feel they will give Pep Guardiola’s side a real run for their money.
“The Reds look to have improved in a number of key areas this season and the signing of Brazilian keeper Alisson could be the last piece in the jigsaw.”
The media’s predicted Liverpool finish:
- FourFourTwo: 2nd
- The Guardian: 2nd
- BBC Sport: 2nd
- ESPN: 2nd
- The Mirror: 2nd