The mood is upbeat at Anfield, as it has been for the last 3 seasons. Rafa Benitez plus a raft of new players mean that Liverpool are again put in as firm title contenders this season.
The additional attacking options give Liverpool’s squad more balance, and with Gerrard returning to the center of midfield and Torres and Babel up front, Liverpool have, after a long time, the right players to challenge for the title.
The only question I’d ask would be on the width in the squad – I feel that Liverpool could have banked on a better player than Benayoun for the wings (that could happen in the next 3 weeks, but I doubt it).
Overall, expect Liverpool to be in the thick of things and if Liverpool can avoid their traditional early jitters they will be certain to challenge for the title this season.
Manager Status: Rafa Benitez is God in the eyes of the Pool fans, and while people may criticise his tactics he is, for all intents and purposes, untouchable.
Transfer Analysis: Torres, Babel and Benayoun are good buys, the rest are either unknown quantities or brought in as backups. Torres has been unfairly criticised, I think, and will do great at Liverpool.
Players to watch: Torres, obviously, but my money is on Kuyt to score 20+ goals this season.
August Fixtures: Villa away, Chelsea at home and Sunderland away, with a 2-legged Champions League qualifying tie against Toulouse squeezed in between. Pool are slow starters, but I’d back them to beat Chelsea at Anfield at least.
Expectations: The title, although another top-4 finish will keep fans happy and Benitez in the driving seat.
Predictions: Top 4, and a crack at top 2 if they start well.