8/11/2018 9:51:34 AM

Great expectations on Liverpool to end long wait for league title

Great expectations on Liverpool to end long wait for league title

Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp is trying to keep a lid on expectations, but ahead of the new Premier League season, Anfield is brimming with excitement that Liverpool could finally end a near three decade wait to be crowned champions of England.

Often outgunned by the riches of fierce rivals Manchester United and the oil-backed wealth of Chelsea and Manchester City in recent times, this summer Liverpool were the Premier League's biggest spenders in a reported £170 million splurge ($219 million).

"We had to create a squad which is strong enough and wide enough to cope with the Premier League and to be as successful as possible," said Klopp on Friday.

The club's business was also done early to give Brazil's number one Alisson Becker and midfielders Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri time to bed in before their campaign kicks off at home to West Ham on Sunday.

Just as importantly, unlike Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho who were lured away from Anfield to Barcelona in recent years, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino signed new contracts as a statement of intent of what is to come for Klopp's Liverpool.

Despite not winning a trophy since the charismatic German coach took charge in 2015, the Reds are also building from position of strength.

A run to the Champions League final in May before losing out to Real Madrid showed both how far Liverpool had come in his time in charge, but also where there was room for improvement.

Two monumental errors by Loris Karius forced the club to bite the bullet and spend big for a top class goalkeeper.

The 72.5 million euro ($84 million) fee paid for Alisson was a world record for a 'keeper, but just a few weeks on seems reasonable compared to the 80 million euros Chelsea splashed out for the far more inexperienced Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao.

Madrid also outclassed Liverpool in midfield in Kiev, as they have done to most sides in winning three straight Champions League titles thanks to the talent of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

But the additions of Fabinho and Keita significantly improve Liverpool's quality in that area of the field and crucially fit perfectly into Klopp's high pressing system.

Despite thrashing Manchester City 5-1 over two legs in the Champions League quarter-finals, Klopp's men finished 25 points adrift of the record-breaking Premier League champions last season.

"The champions are Manchester City; they didn't lose any player and they brought in (Riyad) Mahrez, so that doesn't make them weaker," warned Klopp, insisting Liverpool are still the underdogs.

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