EPL Season Preview: Liverpool

Klopp (24669321424)Updated August 9, 2016

Coach: Jürgen Klopp

2015/16 Finish: 8

2016/17 Preseason Ranking: 6

Sportify Rating: 1623

2015/16 Wagebill: £166M

Stadium Capacity: 44,742 at Anfield

Departures: Joe Allen (Stoke); Jack Dunn (Morecambe, loan); Ryan Fulton (Chesterfield, loan); Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth); Ryan Kent (Barnsley, loan); Ryan McLaughlin (Oldham, free); Jordan Rossiter (Rangers); Jerome Sinclair (Watford); Martin Skrtel (Fenerbahce); Brad Smith (Bournemouth); Joao Teixeira (Porto); Kolo Toure (Celtic, free); Lawrence Vigouroux (Swindon); Danny Ward (Huddersfield, loan)

Arrivals: Marko Grujic (Red Star Belgrade); Loris Karius (Mainz); Ragnar Klavan (Augsburg); Sadio Mané (Southampton); Alex Manninger (free); Joel Matip (Schalke, free); Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle)

The good: They have a host of dangerous attacking options

Last season Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho each scored at least eight EPL goals, no other team had more than three players reach that mark. Divock Origi was prolific in his own right for the Reds scoring five in 16 appearances (with nine coming off the bench). Each of these players brings something a bit different to the attack, but collectively they helped Liverpool score 63 goals on 51.4 xG (+11.6 goals minus xG was the best in the league last year). Oh, and they’ll add Sadio Mane’s 11 goals to their attacking ranks next season.

The bad: Goalkeeping

LiverpoolxGsaved

Last year, no team had less xG saved than Liverpool’s 7.9. On a per game basis, the Liverpool defense conceded 0.5 xG on frame, of which their goalkeepers (Simon Mignolet in 34 out of 38 games) could only save 0.2. Mignolet has pretty much been the assumed starter in net since he signed for Liverpool in 2013, but some key mistakes with less than stellar shot-stopping seemed to signal time for a change or at least competition in net at Liverpool. Enter new signing Loris Karius from Mainz in the Bundesliga. Karius at worst provides competition for the Belgian and at best outright takes his job – the wrinkle: Karius broke his hand in preseason and Mignolet once again assumes the starting job for at least the first few months.