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Liverpool have been touted as the team to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title by even Pep Guardiola (h/t Independent).

The Reds already had a decent squad last season and instead of selling their top stars, we added a quality keeper, two world-class midfielders and a player that can turn on the style when we need it the most.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have finished in the top-four in consecutive seasons and we also reached the Champions League final last time around, even after selling Philippe Coutinho in the winter window.

The form of our forwards will be important in the season ahead but so will our ability to break down teams that sit back and defend.

For all the great performances from the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, we have seen a side of Liverpool that isn’t all that great.

The Reds drew 12 games last season, the most by any of the top five teams, while we only lost five games all season, the lowest after Manchester City.

Unable to beat the lower rung sides

The Premier League is one of the toughest leagues in the world and even the lower placed sides can give a fight to the top clubs. Liverpool found it hard to break down some of these so-called “smaller sides” last time around.

The Reds drew against Watford, Burnley, Newcastle United, Stoke City and twice against West Bromwich Albion. Our losses from last season in the league came against Swansea City right after we beat Manchester City at Anfield.

Unlocking teams that are willing to fight and defend for their lives will be a true test of how we have grown under Klopp but there is another facet that we need to keep up – staying unbeaten at Anfield.

Liverpool have made Anfield a bit of a fortress and went 19 games unbeaten at home last season but we did not beat every team that came to Merseyside.

Our of the 19 games at home in the Premier League last season, we ended up drawing seven of them. That is 14 points dropped! Of course, we would not have won every game but you get the picture?

If we are to close the gap on Manchester City, we cannot draw against the sides that come to defend and frustrate us at Anfield.

We finished a mammoth 25 points behind City last season and had we converted all our draws into wins, we would still have been behind the Cityzens by 1 point. Of course, it would be difficult to believe we could lose points in only five games of the whole season and win all the other games.

But, this is the pace that Manchester City and Pep Guardiola set last time. City lost just a couple of matches, one of them was against us, and they drew just four games last season.

Read more: Bundesliga giants interested in signing £27m Liverpool starlet this month

Liverpool have it all to do this season if we are to challenge City for the title and converting those frustrating draws into wins will be a step in the right direction.

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(Video) Liverpool sends fans down memory lane with memory of fantastic goal

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Fabio Aurelio Liverpool

Liverpool pulled a rabbit out of the hat by signing Andy Robertson from Hull City. The Scot wasn’t a big name then and didn’t cost us much but he has been incredible since breaking into the first-team.

The newly appointed Scotland captain is easily one of the best left-backs in the world and is only getting better with game time.

Although Liverpool have finally signed a dependable left-back, that wasn’t the case for many years as Alberto Moreno and Jose Enrique never seemed to fulfil their potential.

The Reds were a little unlucky with one player and that was Fabio Aurelio, the Brazilian. The former Valencia player was a Red for six seasons but made just 87 appearances in the Premier League.

The left-back was known for his incredible delivery and had a fantastic moment or two. His goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford is one of our greatest moments post the Champions League win in 2005 and FA Cup in 2006 and the Reds wished the 38-year-old on his birthday.

The Brazilian was great at set-pieces but his injuries prevented him from reaching his potential. Rafa Benitez got the best out of the now 38-year-old but the defender had to retire a few years ago as injuries caught up to him.

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Former Liverpool star claims he wants to play under this manager

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Kevin Keegan Liverpool

Kevin Keegan’s managerial career can be remembered for his rant against Manchester United and slumping behind the advertising hoardings after Liverpool beat Newcastle 4-3.

The former England star was one of the best during his time as he picked up a couple of Ballon d’Ors and won numerous titles as a player for the Reds.

Keegan certainly knows a thing or two about winning trophies and in a recent interview with the Guardian, the former England captain added that out of the current managers, he would love to play under Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds play attacking football but Keegan claimed he saw a bit of himself in Klopp and hence, would have played under our manager.

“I’d have to go for [Jürgen] Klopp because he’s like me.”

“He is going to tackle someone one day.

“I was very close to it [too]. When someone was breaking away and it was near the touchline, and I was stood there, I was very close one day to bringing him down. I really was.”

The 67-year-old is right about Klopp’s passion for the game and that is one reason why we are doing so well. The German has turned us into one of the best sides in the country and it is time for him to break his trophy duck at Anfield.

Read more: Former World Cup winner wants this German superstar to join Liverpool

The Reds last won a trophy in 2012 but with Klopp at the helm and the players producing incredible performances, we may have something to cheer about at the end of the campaign.

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“Wasn’t his best goal”, “He scored better” – Some Liverpool fans are certain Puskas had better goals last season

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Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Mohamed Salah came third in the best men’s player category at the recent FIFA awards but the Liverpool star did pick up the Puskas Award for the best goal of the season.

The winning moment came against Everton on 10th December 2017 as Salah jinked past a couple of players before curling the ball into the net.

The effort was adjudged to be better than Gareth Bale’s strike against us in the Champions League final and Cristiano Ronaldo’s effort against Juventus in the same competition.

Salah was on a tear last season as he broke the Premier League scoring record with 32 goals in the competition. The forward had a number of magical moments and a few fans were convinced this wasn’t the Egyptian’s best goal of the season.

There were brilliant efforts against Watford and Tottenham that come to mind. The 25-year-old hasn’t been on fire this season but the award should come as a handy boost for the remainder of the campaign.

Read more: Fabinho and Mignolet to start: Predicted Liverpool line-up against Chelsea in Carabao Cup

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