Last season: 4th
The task facing Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool in the Premier League this season is clear.
The Reds were more than a match against the other top teams last year, winning seven and drawing five of their 12 matches against the other teams in the top seven, but struggled to put away the weaker teams in the division.
Their poor form against the teams in the bottom half cost them a chance to challenge for the title, and Klopp will know they must become more ruthless this time around.
The return of European football will obviously cause challenges, and the Reds will almost certainly try and strengthen their squad ahead of the transfer window closing at the end of the month.
A bungled move for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk led to the Saints reporting Liverpool to the FA, but there is still a chance that deal could go through in the coming weeks after the player submitted a written transfer request.
However, Klopp will also view keeping what he has as being just as important. Barcelona are reportedly interested in Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho and a fee of close to £100million would be difficult for the Reds to turn down.
What happens in the next few weeks could well have a big bearing on how happy the fans will be next May.
Glass half full: Liverpool have spent wisely in what has become a crazy transfer market this summer. Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson are both sensible additions who solve problem areas for the club while funds are still available to strengthen the squad before the transfer window shuts. Jurgen Klopp enjoys getting the best out of the players he has and the squad will have benefitted after a second pre-season with the German.
Glass half empty: The Reds needed to bolster their squad to cope with the increased demands of Champions League football and, compared with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and arch-rivals United, this has been a relatively quiet transfer window so far. Philippe Coutinho looks keen on a move to Barcelona and Southampton are still playing hardball over key target Virgil van Dijk.
New kids on the block: Dominic Solanke – Chelsea, Mohamed Salah – Roma, Andy Robertson – Hull.
Left the building: Andre Wisdom – Derby, Tom Brewitt – Middlesbrough, Jake Brimmer – released, Jack Dunn – Tranmere, Toni Gomes – released, Kane Lewis – released, Alex Manninger – released, Adam Phillips – released, Kevin Stewart – Hull.
The gaffer: Jurgen Klopp – The charismatic former Borussia Dortmund manager has charmed many since his arrival in England in October 2015. Guiding Liverpool back to the Champions League was the main target last season, although repeating the trick this time around will be a bigger test of his managerial skills when faced with a rejuvenated Manchester United and Arsenal and a hectic European schedule.
Star man: Philippe Coutinho – The Brazilian playmaker makes the Reds tick when he is on his game and has flourished under Klopp over the last 18 months. Rumours that Barcelona want him to replace Neymar will have Liverpool supporters counting down the days until the end of the transfer window.
One to watch: Mohammed Salah – The former Chelsea midfielder returns to the Premier League after two highly successful seasons for Roma. The 25-year-old Egyptian has matured as a player while in Italy and will want to show English football fans that the Blues were wrong to give up on him so quickly.
Premier League Title Odds: 12/1
Top Four Odds: Evens
Relegation Odds: 1000/1
Top Goalscorer Odds: Sadio Mane 9/4
Star Bet: You have to feel that Liverpool missed a golden opportunity to go much better than fourth last year. Having remained undefeated against the rest of the top seven it was dropped points against the so called lesser teams that hurt Liverpool’s chances of a real title tilt. Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mano, Firmino and Philippe Coutinho can prove a lethal attack but do they lack a true goalscorer if Daniel Sturridge doesn’t stay fit. Liverpool not to finish in the top four – 10/11
First five games: Watford (A), Crystal Palace (H), Arsenal (H), Manchester City (A), Burnley (H).