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Liverpool 2022-23 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player

:Headline: Liverpool 2022-23 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player:
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Liverpool's 2022-23 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star player.
Sports Mole

Another inevitable quest to pip Manchester City to the Premier League title will soon begin for Liverpool, who were once again forced to settle for the silver medal in league and Champions League action in the 2021-22 season.

Nevertheless, Jurgen Klopp's men head into the 2022-23 season seeking to defend both their FA Cup and EFL Cup titles, and they have a new Uruguayan weapon in the form of Darwin Nunez to help them do so.

Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay have also arrived with hopes that the duo will blossom into stars of the future, but cult hero Divock Origi has departed alongside Sadio Mane, Takumi Minamino and Neco Williams.

The Community Shield affair with Man City ended with Liverpool storming to a 3-1 success, while they also beat RB Leipzig and Crystal Palace in pre-season, but affairs with Manchester United, Strasbourg and Red Bull Salzburg ended in defeat.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Liverpool's 2022-23 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star player.


FIXTURES

Liverpool facing newly-promoted teams on the opening day of the Premier League season is seemingly a given nowadays, and that theme will continue with a trip to Fulham in gameweek one on August 6.

The Reds must make a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United before the end of August, and Aston Villa will pit their wits against Klopp's side on Boxing Day after the World Cup.

The first Merseyside derby of the season with Everton takes place at Goodison Park on September 3, and a challenging April period includes meetings with Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

All of the big-six battles will be out of the way before the final month of the season, and gameweek 38 sees Liverpool travel to Southampton.

> Click here to see all of Liverpool's 2022-23 fixtures


SUMMER SIGNINGS

In
Fabio Carvalho (undisclosed, Fulham)
Darwin Nunez (£64m, Benfica)
Calvin Ramsay (£4.2m, Aberdeen)

Out
Divock Origi (free, AC Milan)
Loris Karius (released)
Sheyi Ojo (released)
Ben Woodburn (free, Preston North End)
Conor Bradley (loan, Bolton Wanderers)
Sadio Mane (£35m, Bayern Munich)
Adam Lewis (loan, Newport County)
Billy Koumetio (loan, Austria Vienna)
Takumi Minamino (£15.5m, Monaco)
Vitezslav Jaros (loan, Stockport County)
Marcelo Pitaluga (loan, Macclesfield Town)
Neco Williams (£18m, Nottingham Forest)
Owen Beck (loan, Famalicao)
Tom Clayton (undisclosed, Swindon Town)
Ben Davies (undisclosed, Rangers)
Rhys Williams (loan, Blackpool)
Tyler Morton (loan, Blackburn Rovers)

Liverpool total spent to date: £68.2m
Liverpool total received to date: £68.5m

Liverpool net transfer balance: £300k


SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker, Caoimhin Kelleher, Adrian

Defenders: Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate, Nat Phillips, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, Calvin Ramsay, Sepp van den Berg

Midfielders: Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Harvey Elliott, Fabio Carvalho

Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota


STRONGEST XI


STAR PLAYER - Mohamed Salah

See above. Mohamed Salah ended another phenomenal season in Merseyside red with a Premier League Golden Boot and Playmaker award double - sharing the former award with Son Heung-min on 23 strikes.

The 30-year-old's second half of the campaign may have been underwhelming compared to the latter stages of 2021, although he endured the disappointment of an Africa Cup of Nations final defeat to Senegal midway through his season.

Nevertheless, the individual accolades would roll in for Salah, who won the PFA Players' Player of the Year, the FWA Footballer of the Year, the PFA Fans' Player of the Year and the Goal of the Season award for his effort against Manchester City.

The Anfield faithful surely could not have fathomed Salah walking away on a free transfer in 2023, but after months of speculation, Egypt's wing king signed an extension until 2025 earlier this summer and clearly has unfinished business on Merseyside.


MANAGER - Jurgen Klopp

Reds fans were preparing to wave their emotional goodbyes to Jurgen Klopp at the end of the 2023-24 season, with the German previously hinting that he would take a break from the game once his previous contract expired.

However, the pull of winning more silverware at Anfield was too good for the 55-year-old to ignore, and back in April, Klopp confirmed that he had extended his stay on Merseyside until the summer of 2026.

Such a deal would see Klopp remain in charge of Liverpool for over a decade, putting him fourth in the club's list of longest-serving managers behind Bill Shankly, George Kay and 19-year servant Tom Watson.

Klopp's seven years in charge of Liverpool so far have seen him win almost every piece of major silverware on offer, except for the Europa League, and he has been named the World's Best Club Coach on two occasions.

The former Borussia Dortmund coach has won 235, drawn 86 and lost 61 of his 382 competitive games in charge of the Reds, who no longer have to plan for life without him with any sort of urgency.


LAST SEASON - 2nd

The customary two-horse Premier League title race between Manchester City and Liverpool unsurprisingly went right down to the wire last term, with the Reds producing a phenomenal fightback in the season to keep their hopes of glory alive.

At one stage, a 14-point gap separated Man City and Liverpool in the table, although the Reds did boast two games in hand, and going unbeaten throughout the whole of 2022 put Klopp's side right on the coat-tails of the reigning champions.

Anfield supporters were praying for Steven Gerrard to do his old club a favour when he took Aston Villa to the Etihad on the final day of the season, and their calls were seemingly about to be answered as the Lions went 2-0 up.

Liverpool did what they needed to do against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but City made the net ripple three times to force the Reds to settle for second yet again, despite losing just twice in the league all season.

The Reds would celebrate with a trophy parade after scooping the FA Cup and EFL Cup double, but on both occasions, they were taken to penalties by Chelsea before holding their nerve from 12 yards.

A repeat of the 2018 Champions League final also ended in misery for Liverpool as Real Madrid won 1-0 at the Stade de France to be crowned champions of Europe for a 14th time, although the match will forever be marred by the disgraceful scenes of crowd chaos as the investigation into the disorder continues.


PREDICTION

Liverpool fans have been left less than impressed with their side's reluctance to sign a new central midfielder in the summer transfer window, and it would not be surprising to see it come back to bite the Reds, especially if the injuries start to pile up in and around the World Cup.

Replacing Mane and Origi with Nunez was a shrewd bit of business from Liverpool, who have largely kept the core of their relentless and quality-filled squad together, but we can only envisage Klopp's side settling for second best again.

VERDICT: 2nd


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