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Where will we finish?

    There has been plenty of activity at Anfield this summer but will it be enough to overhaul the seven teams who finished above the Reds last year, or indeed be enough to stay ahead of some of the sides who finished beneath Jurgen Klopp's men? Five of our writers make their predictions...


Basically, I haven't a clue. Recent history - bar one genius-inspired season - tells us we're nowhere near a top team anymore; a club of intermittently great results and performances amongst seasons of embarrassment and failure. The trophy count is becoming desperate, the transfer policy soul destroying and the lack of a single consistently great talent utterly stark. So eighth in a seven horse race then?
Well yes, except - Kloppo. Apparently, things are exactly as he wants them: his players, his tactics, no problems with the policy or budget and the pre-season has been pretty much what he wanted. Manager-speak, obviously? Maybe not. Certainly things seem very similar to how he worked before and that is surely a good sign that comparable results will follow. 
And yet, it's a seven horse race. With Pep. And the tit at The Mancs. And £30m signings the new bog standard. Can you detect my disbelief? Three hundred and seventy six times bitten, twice shy (as the LFC saying should probably go). 
But I'm a sucker. And no Europe. And, like I said, Kloppo. So... fourth. 

Paul Natton



I don't think I could be on more of a downer on football and, by extension, Liverpool at the moment. Looking at our transfer business it's become obvious that I'm no longer in touch with what the club is willing to do and what I want them to do.
We needed a new left back above all else in the off-season so giving a relegated team £25 million for a player I'm not sure we needed is not quite what I had in mind. Worst of all is that I can't muster the enthusiasm to care because Liverpool are now clearly a tier below teams that they should be the equals of. 
It's difficult to take watching Man City become more relevant and successful based purely on the whims of the Middle East and it's like Darth Vader meeting Emperor Palpatine when Mourinho took over at Old Trafford. Those two plus Chelsea and Arsenal have resources that Liverpool either don't have or don't want to use, which means everything is placed on the shoulders of the manager repeating what he did in Germany.
I used to be a pessimist but now I think it's realism. Liverpool should finish higher than eighth leapfrogging Southampton and West Ham is eminently achievable - as for the rest? Not so much. No Europe might help but all the teams from fifth upwards look strong and have strengthened. Can't see higher than fifth, it'll probably be sixth. No soup for Liverpool.

Julian Richards



There’s still 3 weeks left in the transfer window so this could change but I get the feeling that this summer has been a wasted opportunity to really, really overhaul the squad. We have spent decent money (I don’t care what anyone says, that TV money has gone on the Main Stand) but nothing like I was hoping we would and we still have absolutely glaring gaps in the starting eleven.
We are short of a competent left back and currently only have Moreno because Milner, his 'emergency deputy', is one of a ridiculous number of injuries we’ve managed to accumulate in pre-season. The second half capitulation in Basel made me wash my hands of the vast majority of those gutless jabronis, but especially Moreno. I will not be happy until he has been replaced.
We also need a top drawer central midfielder. That is rumoured to be Dahoud but we won’t pay what Borussia Monchengladbach want. So, as usual, we’ll have to do what the spreadsheet says. I don’t trust these owners or our dreadful transfer policy.
That said, we’ve made some solid additions and there’s nobody we’ve brought in that have caused any "Eduardo Macia type alarm bells" to go off. We’ve finally managed to address the “no competent back up goalkeeper” situation and we have signed players to play how Klopp wants to.
But the manager is about the only thing I am optimistic about these days. He is carrying the weight of expectation on his shoulders and my worry is that weight will eventually become too much. There’s still weeks to go in the window but at the moment it looks like another window of over-promising and under delivering.  But that Main Stand, eh?
As far as where we’ll finish? Probably about 6th. If we get some luck with injuries then maybe we can have a tilt at the top 4 but there’s so much money sloshing about us that we’re simply not prepared to try and compete with, and unfortunately money is what wins the arm wrestle in football now.

Dan Thomas



I’m with Paul in that I have no idea what’s going to happen. This team is just so ridiculously up and down I don’t know what to expect from them anymore. 
Some of the performances since Klopp came in have been incredible, we’ve looked like we could beat anybody when we’ve been right at it. Other times it's been as bad as we ever were under Rodgers, and that second half in Basel.... *grinds teeth*
Klopp has signed some players who he feels will make his system work better than those they replaced so that should help. Maybe we’ll also become more consistent with only playing once a week? Perhaps Klopp’s training methods will kick in and the extra knowledge he’s got of the league based on the free spin he had at it last season will help to prevent the infuriating losses to crap teams. Or maybe they won’t. We'll see. Either is as likely as the other at this point.
I’m in “prove it” mode. I know what they’re capable of, I just don’t know if they’ll show it often enough so I don't trust them yet. We won’t finish any worse than 7th so I’ll predict 5th (behind both Manc clubs, Arsenal and either Chelsea or Spurs), but such is the uncertainty surrounding us I honestly wouldn’t rule anything out, even the title.

Dave Usher




Just a few short years ago I recall watching a Dortmund side that were playing some of the most energetic and effective football in Europe and thinking that it must be a real treat to follow them; that if you had your pick of all the managers in the game it would be Klopp that got the call.
Fast-forward to the current day and the imposing German has had half a season to get his feet under his Melwood desk, a full pre-season, has brought some of his targets in and is ready to dive into what could be one of the most interesting and competitive Premier League’s for years. I can’t help but be excited about it.
The signings of Mane and Wijnaldum would seem to add pace, dynamism and some additional raw numbers of output to a side that was crying out for them, and give the squad the look of one with more depth and options than there has been for some time. There may not have been any big statements made in the market to resolve defensive worries but I’m banking on the manager choosing to bring in Klavan and Matip for a reason, and seeing them as part of his plan to make the team as a whole a lot more resilient.
With no European distractions it is not beyond belief that Liverpool could well be in the shake up come the end of the season. I’m going to say that we’ll qualify for the Champions league this season (finishing 3rd), and that with a wind behind us we might even be involved in the title race coming into the last 5 games. That all starts with Arsenal on the first weekend. Front foot lads. Get into this lot, they’re no great shakes!

Stu Montagu




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With no Europe the first 11 will play most weeks. I think that if we had not played the 2nd team in the last 5 league games we would have ended up with at least 3 points more so at least 63. Therefore, under Klopp we'd have got 51 points in 30 games, the equivalent of 65 points in 38. Granted, both Manchester clubs and Chelsea should improve but will Arsenal or Spurs? With no Thursday to Sunday turnarounds and the manager having a pre-season and bringing in his own players I would pessimistically expect at least a six point jump. 71 points would have got us 2nd/3rd last year. It won't in 2017 but it will get us in the frame for 4th.

So a pessimistic 4th for me Clive

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One of the pieces above mentioned not knowing whether can trust this lot and that is where I am - they'll look like world beaters and have us believing in them - then they will shit themselves spectacularly when it comes down to the crunch...


To change this we needed to add nous and bollocks during the summer and so far we haven't really added enough - we need some winners, men with toughness both mentally and physically and I am not sure we have done enough to add what is lacking.


I still feel the squad is unbalanced as well - the full back situation is laughable and bordering on being criminal on both sides...ok the right side first choice is decent but where is his cover/competition?....the left side - well it is beyond parody what is going on there.


We also seem to be continually struck with injuries, this is a part of the physically weak side of our squad and a big shot of bad luck - this needs to be better this year, the early signs aren't encouraging are they?


We seem to be continually stuck in transition and it feels the same again this year as Klopp starts to shape us into his vision and build his squad - i still think we should have added in Jan to start the latest rebuild and have those players in with a few months under the belts...


We need our new lads to hit ground running something that rarely seems to happen for us - good starts build momentum and confidence - poor starts we have seen all too often from individuals who then drift away on loan/out of favour never really settling.


Sorting out how to deal with the alehouse teams in the league is key as well - we are ok against teams who want to play....we can get in behind, press and trouble them - we just don't seem to be able to work out how to deal with teams who sit in and employ shithouse tactics and who bully us from a set piece - we really need to find a way and cut down the draws and odd goal defeats to these sides.


Cutting down on individual errors and having a keeper who does not let in the first shot he faces so often is crucial.


All in all i expect much the same as last season albeit it we have less games to play so that should help us.....6th to 8th would be my guess.


A top 4 challenge could happen but we need a lot of things to go for us and if we do mount one can we be trusted not to shit all down our legs when it comes to the crunch?

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I'm with Stu on this and am naive/oblivious enough to believe that we can at least finish third. You can be sure Klopp does too. I may think differently by Sunday evening.


I think we'll win a lot of matches while still conceding quite a few in a retro tribute to the halcyon days of 2013/14.


Star men: Klavan, Can, Mane and Origi.

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We've got one decent fullback in the entire squad. Moreno should have been the first out the door, with a first choice left back a priority signing. The central midfield is still shite, we have no-one to kick the fuck out of the opposition and no-one to control the game. A collection of "meh". Set pieces will continue to be a fucking waste of time. We're going to waste the talents of the best player in the squad but sticking him out on the left wing. The forwards are one perma crock, one that has just come back from a huge injury, and a promising 21 year old (I'm assuming Benteke and Balotelli will be fucked off). 


It isn't good enough to make serious progress. City, Chelsea, and United will all be significantly better than they were last season. Arsenal will be Arsenal and find a way of finishing in the top four as they always do. Tottenham we could possibly overtake, but there is still Southampton, West Ham, and Leicester who could do enough to get 65-70 points, or at least one of them could.


Just not feeling the optimism at all. We've got a very good manager, but almost everyone else at the club is a shit cunt. 

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I agree with the first bit of An Tha's post. We'll have a run were you think we're gonna win the league or top 4 in a spectacular run - then shit the bed when it matters. Couple of fumbles around the box for MIG and a few defensive gaffs when it truly matters to deliver the disappointment we all know too well.


I am a really positive person but when it comes to LFC it's hard for me to feel that we can sustain any sort of decent challenge when it's called for. Hopefully klopp will be the difference in that. You only need a few good scalps and wins to start to develop a winners mentality. That's why Mourinho always wins - he's just buys players who are used to winning. Once you have that mindset within a team of just a few players then you tip the balance.


We had a couple of players with a winners mindset under BROD when we challenged - but not enough to tip the balance and especially with a manger who has never won anything.


But after all that - Leicester proved all of it wrong.


C'mon you reds!

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6th really is par for this squad.   The four big clubs in the miles ahead and Spurs are a much better team too.   Underperform and we could see ourselves not in Europe for two years running for the first time since the 90's??

Fans will probably begin to turn on Klopp for a sixth place finish, then there really be nothing but shit left at Anfield.


Transfer window hasn't been good enough in the slightest.  Most of the glaring weaknesses remain.  The pointless stand that's been used to brush off the need for a new stadium (for now) has obviously impacted our spending.


Can't see anything changing until the club has owners who want to win.

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10th. We have as much ambition as I have optimism. We don't think big. I think our goalkeeper,  full backs and midfield will tell the same old story except the competition all around us will be better. We will show real quality now and then and then be crap or sucker punched all season.


I'm just a pessimistic fuck but it feels like we now act like we are here to make up the numbers and FSG only care about the club like its a pawn shop, buy and sell, look for profit.  yeah I'm a kid id rather buy two fuck yeah exciting players than a multitude of possibly the best players at shit clubs in our league who we overpay for but they don't want too high a wage and could do a job if were lucky. I want our scouts to piss off, especially amiga stat twat.

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I still think that the team's twin calamities (Moreno and Mignolet) will cost us too many points to finish in the Champions League positions.


Will we learn the mistake of previous seasons of going to places like Hull and expecting to win by simply turning up, only to get turned over by a more committed side?

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As long as Karius comes back well from his injury and we don't have to rely on Mignolet, we can finish in the top 4. There were some real positives in the second half of the season last year and with a full preseason under Klopp and the fact that we'll be fitter and playing significantly fewer matches than most of the other top 4 contenders, I can't see us not being right up there.


We still have weaknesses and I'd be worried about our depth at fullback and our quality in midfield if we had a packed schedule like last year, but I think the fact we pretty much only have Premier League football gives us a big advantage. So yeah, 4th.

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We'll win it

I can feel it in my bones

If Sturridge stays fit the whole season and we acquire a top class CM, I think we could challenge. However, Can and Henderson/Wijnaldum don't fill me with confidence.

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Hoping for the best, fearing the worst.


Our difficult start will see us playing catch-up after the first 6 games, adopting a pressing-style that worked well in Germany with their mid-season break but is sure to tyre is out by next March as the inevitable injury toll of Kloppball disrupts selection.


We’ll be wonderful to watch against footballing opponents but struggle against bus-parkers. For that reason I hope Benteke isn’t sold. He has his limitations but is our most productive threat when a high ball to the far post becomes the best hope of breeching a packed defence.


Even when ours is packed, the fragility of a defence including M & M instead of a smarty and snicker bar is a recipe for tooth rot. Inevitably, there’s guaranteed indigestion when opponents take a corner.
For that reason I hope Karius makes a quick recovery and proves to be steady, reliable and relatively blunder free.


That’s the dream, now for the nightmare.


Milner or Moreno at left back? Decisions, decisions. Should play with three at the back or start with 10 men? It’s a tough choice but we have a truly terrific manager, I’m sure he’ll sort summat out.


The week before the season starts is dream time. My top four fantasy prediction is;


West Ham

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Assuming Klopp is not allowed to approach the war chest, I suspect we'll finish no higher than 7th.  There isn't a single player in the squad I'd trust to put in a big performance when one was needed.  Our most talented players are injury prone or erratic and wasteful.  


The prevailing characteristic that defined last season - a lack of spirit and bottle - has, it appears, not been addressed.  That horrible performance in the UEFA final - actually it was worse than horrible, it was shameful - brought back the memories of the end of the previous season.  We look fatally flawed with a midfield containing Henderson and Can.  


I'm banking on Klopp instilling some sort of backbone and grit, otherwise it could be worse than 7th. 7th is about par if that team performs to its capability.   

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Distinct lack of enthusiasm for this season, tempered only by Klopp being here this time round.  But then that is cancelled out by knowing the shitfest that will ensue with Mourinho, Zlatan, etc at the mancs.


As usual generally underwhelmed by the transfer business.  But then that's nothing new.  Was sort of hoping a combo of Klopp and the TV money would see us seriously going in for top players.  Unbelievably we'll prob turn a 'profit' with the sales if we shift Benteke and maybe 1 or 2 others.


And to be going into a new season with Moreno at LB is just incompetent.  Due to the lack of Euro football we'll probably comfortably finish in Europa spots, without seriously threatening the CL spots.


And my new season ticket still hasn't arrived.  Feck I'm depressed. 

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