How Liverpool are likely to line up this season
Following a Champions League final and a positive summer transfer window Joel Sked takes a look at how Liverpool will likely line-up this season.
Liverpool's recruitment, on paper, has been shrewd and done in an efficient and effective manner.
With the transfer window closing for Premier League clubs on Thursday, far earlier than normal, it has provided an interesting dynamic to the signing of players. While some clubs will be using every available second to get recruits through the door, Liverpool can sit back content in knowing they have done their business and possess a stronger squad than last season.
They have frequently linked with Lyon's Nabil Fekir after a deal fell through earlier in the window, while there has been speculation surrounding Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, but it would be a surprise if another player was to arrive.
So how are Liverpool are likely to line-up this season (4-3-3):
GK - Alisson Becker
Liverpool parted with a world-record fee for a goalkeeper to sign the Brazilian from AS Roma. He was widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in Serie A last season and kept Manchester City's Ederson out of the Brazil team.
No goalkeeper who played more than 2,000 minutes in Serie A last season could better his 0.72 goals conceded per 90 minutes. He is a formidable presence, rarely beaten from distance while he has that quality of making it seem as if he has more than two arms when dealing with close-range shots. An upgrade on Loris Karius.
RB - Trent Alexander-Arnold
Despite the return of the more experienced Nathaniel Clyne, the 19-year-old kept his place at right-back even in the big games. He was imperious in the Champions League up against Leroy Sane.
He was so impressive that he was included in the England squad for the World Cup. He has a huge future and should be even better after his experiences in the past year.
CB - Virgil van Dijk
One of the what-ifs surrounded the Dutch centre-back. What if Liverpool had signed him last summer rather than in January. In the league Liverpool conceded an average of a goal a game last season but with Van Dijk in the team it dropped to 0.64.
The key cog at the back.
CB - Dejan Lovren
The Croatian has, at times, been much-maligned at Anfield. Having been signed from Southampton he did not reach the same levels. However, last season there were promising signs of a partnership with Van Dijk.
He then went and had an excellent World Cup. While in Russia he made the proclamation that he was one one of the best in the world in the position. If he can keep up such form he'll keep out Joel Matip and help Liverpool have a fantastic season.
LB - Andrew Robertson
The Scot was a revelation at Anfield after winning the left-back spot from Alberto Moreno. He became a fan favourite instantly for his endeavour, attitude and personality. He has the ability with the ball to match all of that.
One of the first names on the team-sheet.
DM - Jordan Henderson
Another player whose reputation was boosted by an impressive World Cup for England. An experienced Premier League campaigner his influence and work-rate is a real asset.
However, going forward Jurgen Klopp may require a more proficient passer to take the position.
CM - Fabinho
A signing that seemed to sneak under the radar. Was a key part of Monaco's 2016/2017 Ligue 1 winning campaign and run to the semi-finals of the Champions League in a two man midfield.
As the athletic capacity to fit into Klopp's demands having played at full-back and is the definition of combative. Good in the air, strong in the tackle and fine passer.
CM - Naby Keita
Signed from RB Leipizg, Keita will add even more verticality to the Liverpool midfield. He is an all-rounder like Fabinho but more diminutive and more forward thinking.
The 23-year-old is adept at braking the lines with his running and will chip in with goals and assists. As he will with yellow cards.
LW - Mohamed Salah
PFA Players' Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year, Premier League Golden Boot, Premier League Player of the Season, PFA Team of the Year, Liverpool Player of the Season, Liverpool Players' Player of the Season and PFA Fans' Player of the Year.
Fifty-two Liverpool appearances, 44 goals. World Class.
ST - Roberto Firmino
Despite the impressive form of Daniel Sturridge in pre-season the Brazilian is such a key player. He may not be a natural No.9 but he is a facilitator. Unselfish, hard-working and intelligent, he is the glue of the attack.
RW - Sadio Mane
The final part of a frightening front three. He can play anywhere in attack, he scares defences with his pace and he is one of the best dribblers in the league.
If he can take his finishing and final product to the next level opposition defences have a real problem on their hands.