After what was a bright start to the transfer window following the signings of Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah, Liverpool fans have grown increasingly disillusioned with the transfer business. Now, with reports emerging Liverpool might lose Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, the fans are not in the best of moods prior to the start of the season.
A sound pre-season nevertheless
A trip to the Vicarage Road awaits the players who seem to have had a good pre-season. The standout result was the win over Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup though they eventually lost to Atletico Madrid on penalties.
The team has functioned well and the new signings up front have improved, which puts Jürgen Klopp in a dilemma. So not everything is negative.
The predicted Liverpool lineup
The defence is where the worry lies for Liverpool. The Reds signed Andrew Robertson from Hull City, and though he adds more balance to the team, it’s a bit surprising the club went for a player who was part of a relegated side when the rest of the top four sides have been signing full-backs from better teams and for world record fees.
Simon Mignolet did well for the side last season and he’s likely to start in goal for the opener. Andrew Robertson did play a few games in pre-season and though Alberto Moreno had a good pre-season, we could once again see James Milner at left-back.
The centre-half pair is likely to be Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip with Trent Alexander-Arnold playing on the right as Nathaniel Clyne is still unfit.
Adam Lallana’s injury will be a massive blow for the club. The England international is a key cog to Klopp’s system and in his absence, there could be certain absence of the elusiveness as he is so good with the ball at his feet.
Jordan Henderson is fit for the game and should start with the duo of Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum in the midfield. The trio press well and defend from the front, but Watford will have their counter-attacking opportunities on the day.
With Coutinho missing training, he’s unlikely to feature against the Hornets. The injury has possibly come at the worst time as the fans would have loved to see him play not only because he is a special player, but also to put the Barcelona rumours to bed.
In his absence, Sadio Mane is likely to feature on the left with new signing Mohamed Salah taking the right flank. Roberto Firmino is likely to lead the line.