Welcome back to The Liver Bird for the eighth year of me blogging about the Reds! Let's get stuck straight in with a preview for the opener against Watford shall we?
I can't really type this post without bringing up Couts can I? On Wednesday evening the Reds rejected a £90 million bid from Barcelona for the magician, it's the second time they've come knocking this season, but manager Jurgen Klopp has no plans to let one of his star players go.
"No price at which we are ready to give in. Our goal is to have the best possible team. So we want to keep our guys and add new ones. That is our plan."
I honestly don't think Coutinho is going anywhere this window. I think he knows he can afford to give us another season and if he wants to go to Spain, Barcelona will still be there at the end of it. Liverpool of course can cope without the Brazilian but he'd leave a huge hole. Particularly when we need to turn those dogged draws into wins, he's the man to do it.
Let's hope he bloody doesn't but if Coutinho did leave us this window, are our new boys up to scratch? Well Mo Salah may not quite be replacement material but he's shown real promise in pre-season. I for one am very excited to see him perform under Jurgen Klopp in a very attack-minded Liverpool side.
|Image via liverpoolfc.com|
Solanke who is due to play a smaller role has also set opinions alight after some exciting performances during pre-season as well. The youngster aged just 19 definitely looks like one for the future.
Then we have Andy Robertson, I would be lying if I said I was excited by this move but it's a sensible one from Klopp and I will hold judgement until I get to see him in the Liverpool shirt a few times.
Watford have been relatively busy during the window and two of their key signings are Tom Cleverley and Andre Gray. The latter of whom cost just over £18 million having scored ten goals last season, nine of which came in the Premier League.
Watford have also accquired Richarlison from Fluminense. At 20 years old he's seen as a real prospect by some and obviously caught the eye of the Watford manager.
Liverpool are without Sturridge, Clyne, Coutinho and Lallana for the Watford game. Adam Lallana is out for approximately three months with a thigh injury while Clyne is also searching for fitness having missed pre-season.
Coutinho and Sturridge however are both expected to be available for Liverpool's Champions League qualifier with Hoffenheim next week.
The last time the two sides met was in May this year. The Reds scored a single goal via Emre Can to take all three points... don't act like you don't remember that goal... I still drool when I see it now.
|Image via Liverpool Echo|
The last meeting at Anfield between the two sides was in November 2016, the game ended 6-1 in a fantastic victory for the Reds. Five different goalscorers found the back of the net; Mane, Coutinho, Can, Firmino and Wijnaldum.
In the last six meetings between the two sides in the league, Liverpool have won five with Watford winning the remaining fixture.
I cannot wait for the match on Saturday, it feels like it's been a long summer of reading rumours about Keita and batting off Barca and while the transfer window still remains open it will be nice to get stuck in to things and see what Klopp's slightly tweaked team can do.
Firmino in his more direct role with the likes of Salah and Mane behind him in theory should be brilliant to watch, I just hope we can start on a positive. I'm looking forward to another season of blogging and tweeting about the Reds so please drop me a line!