The 2020/21 Premier League season is around the corner and for Liverpool, this season could mean something transformative in reference to their history. The Reds stormed to the 2019/20 Premier League title but now comes the real challenge, doing the double and doing it with more
How well did Liverpool do in the 2019/20 Premier League season?
Well, as Premier League seasons go, it wasn’t too bad for Liverpool. Naturally, the coronavirus break comes into play, like it does for everyone else but it affected the Reds more so than anyone else. They walked into the lockdown as one of the best Premier League sides with their first Premier League title all but wrapped up and walked out of the lockdown to lift it. But a bland end meant that they finished the season with 32 Wins, 3 Draws and 3 Losses, a record that nobody else even came close to matching.
Yet their record could have been even better with heavy losses to Manchester City and Arsenal plus that lacklustre draw against Everton definitely showed Liverpool's worst performances. And their numbers for the season were off the charts as well and at both ends. Offensively they finished as the league’s second highest goals scorer (85), had the second highest xG per 90 (1.85), the joint best assists per 90 minutes (1.82), the third highest key passes completed (436), the second most touches overall (29380), and the second best non-penalty xG or npxG (66.6).
Defensively, they weren’t too shabby either with the best defensive record (33). The Reds combined that with the best PSxG (Post-Shot Expected Goals) (31.5), had the fifth fewest errors leading to a goal (10), the best successful pressure percentage (32.2%), committed the fewest fouls (331), had the joint second best clean sheet percentage (39.5%) and they did that all the while averaging the best Points Per Match at 2.61.
Improvements they’ve made so far:
Now all those fantastic defensive efforts? Liverpool did all that without Alisson Becker for 10 games and yet it never seemed to faze them. Mainly because Virgil van Dijk was there to help them out with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip doing their but. But with only 24 players used, it speaks to a stretched squad as only two English teams used fewer players and both those two have improved their squad strengths this summer.
And yet with the addition of back-up left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas and a move for Thiago Alcantara on the cards, this side is improving and doing it big time. However, the losses of Dejan Lovren and potentially Gini Wijnaldum, Divock Origi and a few others could affect the team unless they choose to strengthen even further. Money is hard to find especially in this climate but pulling this same rabbit out of the hat might prove to be a tough trick for Jurgen Klopp.
Thiago Silva, as a free-transfer, was on their radar but Chelsea have made a shock swoop for the Brazilian and snatched him clean. They do have younger talent in the form of Neco Williams, Sepp van den Berg and a few others but for a team chasing after another title or even a Champions League crown, it may not be enough. It proved last season that it wasn't enough and all it takes is one injury to anyone from that front-three and Liverpool could collapse.
How well could Liverpool do in the 2020/21 Premier League season?
This is the predictions section but you can never predict the Premier League properly and yet, you wouldn’t hesitate putting money on Liverpool retaining their title. But that’s only if Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino hit their stride again, their defense remains just as rock solid and their full-backs combined with the midfield turn up game-in and game-out. That’s their ceiling and their floor, if you include drop offs for their front-three and midfield, could be a third place finish at the worst and even that’s pushing it.
However, in shock circumstances, think Chelsea and Leicester City as recent examples, there is a slight possibility (1 in a 100) that the Reds drop to fourth. That would take a serious injury crisis, a terrible run of form and everything going against them but it is possible. Improbable but certainly on the cards although it could get even worse should they find themselves on the wrong end of something catastrophic. There is precedence especially for a Jurgen Klopp side but hope for the best and prepare for the worst right? Although Liverpool aren't prepared for the worst.