SIX things you can expect from Liverpool this season

Liverpool were so close to claiming their first league title in 24 years last season, only to fall short at the final hurdle.

The Reds have also lost star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona over the summer, but spending £80million on new signings should help attempt to usher in a new era at Anfield.

Fans and neutrals will remember Steven Gerrard’s title-costing slip against Chelsea, but with a new year comes a new wave of confidence that this season the Anfield club can go one better.

Here are SIX things you can expect from Liverpool this season…

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Liverpool will miss Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez

Another Premier League season goes by and the division’s best player is prized away by La Liga. A year ago Tottenham superstar Gareth Bale made the move to Real Madrid and Spurs purchased £100million worth of players, only for most of them to flop.

Liverpool are following a similar path and although Brendan Rodgers is an all-round better manager than Andres-Villas Boas, the loss of Suarez will initially cause the Reds to be underwhelming.

Daniel Sturridge will continue scoring

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Sturridge had an amazing first full season with Liverpool last year, and boy did he show what he can do.

Remember that Luis Suarez was banned for the first six matches of last season, but Liverpool still found the goals through the Englishman. Once Suarez returned, the partnership put fear into every division’s defence as Sturridge finished the campaign with 22 goals.

This time he won’t have his Uruguayan partner around any more, but his direct style of play will see him score goals no matter where Liverpool finish at the end of the season.

Liverpool will score less, but they will also concede less

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Liverpool undoubtedly had one of the best attacks all over Europe, with Suarez and Sturridge scoring for fun while Gerrard, Sterling, and even Skrtel all got themselves amongst the goals. Their major downfall, however, was that they conceded way too many.

And over the course of the summer Brendan Rodgers has attempted to shore up his defence with some shrewd signings. Dejan Lovren is the perfect foil to centre-back Mamadou Sakho while Dani Manquillo will keep first choice Glen Johnson on his feet.

Emre Can is also an excellent acquisition to sit in front of the back-four, with Lallana a tireless worker in midfield.

What they lack in attack from Suarez’s departure, they will make up with defensive solidity.

Raheem Sterling will have a true break-out season

Sterling

He may have scored nine goals, provided seven assists, and starred for England during the World Cup, but Sterling has the potential to be an even better player.

The 19-year-old has progressed from a skilful dribbler to a more complete attacking midfielder, one that combines pace with an end product.

With Suarez gone, much of the attacking impetus will rely on the shoulders of Sturridge and Sterling… which could see the latter really break out and score 15 goals this season.

Liverpool will struggle in the Champions League

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The Reds have once again returned to Europe’s elite competition, but for Rodgers it’s a whole new ball-game.

Having successfully brought Swansea up from the Championship and Liverpool close to their first Premier League title, the Welsh manager has yet to taste success in a cup tournament, and none is harder than the UEFA Champions League.

Many in the Liverpool squad – albeit excited – will be new to the experience and could fall short in performing on the big stage.

Liverpool won’t be amongst the title challengers this season

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While Liverpool had an amazing campaign last year, they were not balancing their squad for games in Europe and solely put their focus in winning league fixtures.

This time around, however, they are in Europe’s toughest cup competition and lost their team’s (and the league’s) best player.

With so many new signings it will take some time before the squad performs on a consistent basis, but what Liverpool must do is qualify for the Champions League come end of the season. Or else everything they gained from the past year would be for nothing.

Even fourth place could prove a struggle, with Liverpool’s rivals all strengthening during the summer.