FM18 predicts Liverpool’s season with Alisson, Fabinho, Keita and Shaqiri

first_img 12 smart causal It promises to be an exciting season on Merseyside, and wanted to get an idea of how the Reds will fare in 2018/19.Using the in-depth database and scientific approach of Football Manager 2018, updated to July 22, we simmed through the entire season to find out how Liverpool’s campaign went.You can see the results below…TRANSFERSLiverpool have enjoyed a brilliant summer of business in the transfer market, leading many to suggest the Reds have ‘won the transfer window’. This is a title that often proves to be a curse – just take a look at the Reds’ Merseyside rivals Everton last season – but it is hard not to agree with the verdict.Klopp has fixed the most glaring weaknesses in what was already a good squad, bringing in a top class goalkeeper in Alisson and strengthening Liverpool’s midfield with Fabinho, signed from Monaco, and Naby Keita, finally brought to Anfield a year after he agreed to join the Reds. When Liverpool played against the top teams last season it was evident just how poor their midfield was in comparison to their rivals – at times it was non-existent – but that is an issue which appears to have now been resolved. Fabinho and Keita have both been brought in to improve Liverpool’s midfield Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Klopp’s side host West Ham on the opening matchday of the season Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won 12 England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won possible standings How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Despite focusing on Europe, Liverpool found themselves kicked out the competition at the next stage, with Manchester City – who were beaten by the Reds in the Champions League last season – progressing to the semi-finals courtesy of a 5-3 aggregate victory over Klopp’s side. Karius was forced to play the second leg with both Alisson and Mignolet injured, and he had another night to forget on the European stage. Latest Liverpool news REVEALED VERDICTEnding the season with victory in the FA Cup would certainly satiate Liverpool’s need for silverware, but the complete absence of a title challenge from the Reds would see some serious questions asked about Klopp.They would have actually moved backwards – having finished fourth in both of the last two seasons – and after spending over £150m on new players, there is a good chance the German coach would find himself under pressure if this virtual season was to become a reality. RANKED There’s not long to go now before another Premier League season gets under way.The 2018/19 top flight campaign kicks-off on Friday, August 10 with Leicester visiting Manchester United, and fans will be treated to the first sight of Jurgen Klopp’s new-look Liverpool two days later. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Loris. Unless you screw up, then we’ll kick you out the team predicted Despite all these dreadful results, Liverpool did win the Merseyside derby on Everton’s home turf In the January window, Klopp secured the services of Hirving Lozano, the Mexico starlet, in a deal that would delight Liverpool fans if it happened in real life. Netherlands wonderkid Ferdi Kadioglu, 18, was also brought to Anfield with Klopp making sure to keep an eye on the future. shining SEASON REVIEWIt certainly wasn’t the best season for Liverpool.The first real blow to the Reds’ chances of silverware came in September, when they were knocked out the EFL Cup at the third-round stage by Premier League rivals Crystal Palace. This defeat came during a run of dreadful results – just three wins in 11 matches – that hurt their Premier League hopes, and also put their chances of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage under threat. REVEALED Alisson was Liverpool’s best performing goalkeeper throughout 2018/19, but, quite surprisingly, he and Simon Mignolet both made 29 appearances. The Brazil international started the bigger matches, but he was not guaranteed to feature week in, week out.Klopp rotated Mignolet and Lorius Karius in the 2016/17 season, and clearly he took the same approach with his glovesman this term.Before we move on, spare a thought for the aforementioned Karius. The signing of Alisson, which came because of his mistakes in the Champions League final, saw the German become Liverpool’s third choice keeper – and he was even relegated to the Reds’ Under-23 squad. 12 Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars silverware Liverpool ended up finishing fifth in the Premier League, just one point off the top four, but also only ahead of sixth placed Spurs because of goal difference. Chelsea pipped Manchester City to the title, while Newcastle joined top flight new boys Cardiff and Fulham in being relegated to the Championship. 12 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Liverpool won a single Premier League match throughout January and February – against Cardiff In terms of departures, a number of Liverpool’s young players were sent away from the club on loan to continue their development, with the only two permanent sales shown above. Ragnar Klavan, the back-up central defender, left in the summer for Besiktas, while striker Danny Ings moved in January, taking the reverse of that well-trodden route from Southampton to Liverpool to guarantee himself consistent first-team football.TACTICSGiven Klopp’s success with the 4-3-3 throughout his time at Liverpool, it is no surprise he stuck with the same system for 2018/19. The German’s best XI (below) is as expected, aside from two notable inclusions.A fully fit Nathaniel Clyne was the first-choice right-back throughout the campaign, ahead of Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Adam Lallana found himself reborn at Anfield as part of a midfield trio also featuring Fabinho and Keita. The England internatioanl scored an impressive 10 goals throughout the campaign, though he did occasionally rotate with Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who recovered from his injury early to feature in the second half of the season. Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool’s other summer arrival, has not been signed to displace one of the side’s brilliant front three, though the Switzerland international does improve the quality of Klopp’s rotation options, with the Reds only having the likes of Dominic Solanke, Danny Ings, and a far from his best Adam Lallana on the bench throughout 2017/18.With all these signings confirmed in real life, the virtual Klopp did little work throughout the remainder of the summer transfer window on FM. Milan Badelj, the Croatia international, was the only first-team arrival, and bringing in such a high quality defensive midfielder for free was shrewd business. Fran Munoz, the other signing, is a young Spanish forward who took a place in Liverpool’s Under-23 side. 12 12 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade 12 12 Karius certainly does himself no favours gameday cracker Luckily, Liverpool had one more thing to play for after the league season ended, with Klopp’s side going all the way to reach the FA Cup final.And the Reds won, beating the team who knocked them out of Europe after extra time courtesy of a Mohamed Salah double. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Liverpool recovered to get back into the title race and secure their place in the knockout stage of Europe’s premier cup competition, but another run of poor form hit the Reds at the start of the new year, with FIVE successive Premier League draws recorded. This basically ended their chances of winning the league championship, and attentions turned elsewhere, especially after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals by progressing past Bayern Munich in the round-of-16. 12 That Sunday, the Reds host West Ham at Anfield aiming to get their season off to the best possible start with real hopes among the Liverpool faithful that this will finally be the club’s year to win a first Premier League title.Klopp, the manager, has made some brilliant signings, and while you can never tell just how well players will fit in at a new club, on paper Liverpool have one of the strongest squads in the entire first division. How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade huge blow 12 12 It was a positive end to the season for Liverpool 12last_img

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