Five Bold Predictions for the 2021-22 Premier League Season

With Liverpool kicking off the season on Saturday against Norwich, much is to be expected of Jurgen Klopp’s side. 

The Reds endured a trying campaign last term overwhelmed by injuries. Nonetheless, they still managed to finish 3rd. Can Liverpool rediscover their fitness and form to earn their second premier league title in three years?

Here, we look at five bold predictions for the upcoming season:

Harvey Elliott will play more minutes than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Curtis Jones

Harvey Elliott may have been the stand-out for Liverpool in preseason, thriving in an unexpected attacking midfield role. Jurgen Klopp has prevented Elliott from going out on loan again, seeing him as a vital member of the first team squad. Klopp went as far as to say that “the football world can be excited” by Elliott.

While Oxlade-Chamberlain has also impressed in the preseason, questions persist. Various sources have linked him with potential moves to Southampton and West Ham. Furthermore, we unfortunately have never been able to rely on ‘The Ox’ to stay healthy over the course of a Premier League campaign.

Harvey Elliott will be vital to Liverpool’s success this season. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Jones, given his progress last season, should play an important role for the Reds. However, he will struggle to find a place in the starting eleven, battling with Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Naby Keita, and the two aforementioned players. Elliott possesses the versatility that Curtis Jones does not to play in attack, which opens up more avenues for playing time for the former Fulham player.

Joe Gomez will beat out Ibrahima Konate in the starting 11

After the ₤36 million arrival of Konate from RB Leipzig, many believe that the young Frenchman will claim the starting spot alongside Virgil van Dijk. And why not? Konate impressed in preseason, showing his recovery speed and ability on the ball.

However, let’s not forget how talented Joe Gomez is. Prior to last season, the only centerback in the Premier League that you could undoubtedly rank ahead of Gomez was van Dijk. Furthermore, the two have a connection—both on and off the field—that can’t be replicated.

Jurgen Klopp has also consistently opted to incorporate new signings slowly. Fabinho had to wait months before making a Premier League appearance and Andy Robertson spent half a season backing up Alberto Moreno, believe it or not. Assuming they stay healthy, don’t be surprised if Van Dijk-Gomez is the preferred centerback partnership in big games.

Trent Alexander-Arnold will be amongst the top 5 in the league in assists and chances created

The criticism that Alexander-Arnold received last season was unfair. Despite some defensive lapses, the Liverpool-born defender was still vital to the side’s success. Even in the “nightmare” season that he had, he still finished 6th in the league in chances created and T-12th in assists.

Trent Alexander-Arnold will look to force his way back into Gareth Southgate’s plans before the World Cup next summer. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY LIVERPOOL FC

It’s important to note that Alexander-Arnold was often pinned back last season. Mohamed Salah’s free role as an attacker, despite its benefits, often exposed the right side of Liverpool’s defence. Alexander-Arnold had to play more conservatively than usual knowing the injury problems that Liverpool faced at centerback. All that should change with the returns of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and the signing of Konate.

The Liverpool-born defender has had a summer to clear his mind and recharge his batteries. He will benefit from having a healthy Diogo Jota, who should benefit from Alexander-Arnold’s pinpoint crosses. Furthermore, the return of Virgil van Dijk should lead to a few more assists off set pieces.

Mohamed Salah will win the Golden Boot

At this point, Mohamed Salah has become the Sergio Aguero of the Premier League. Everyone knows that he is amongst the best few players in the league, contends for the Golden Boot every season, and is absolutely vital to the success of his side.

However, Salah will benefit from something he hasn’t had in his Liverpool career—a long summer to recharge. The Egyptian has a chip on his shoulder, seeking a new deal and revenge for last season’s shortcomings. An injury to Kevin de Bruyne should also improve his chances.

After winning the Golden Boot in two of the past three seasons, Salah fell just one short of becoming just the third player to achieve the feat on three occasions last season. With a healthy Liverpool side (for now), a disgruntled Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku needing time to reacclimate to the Premier League, and Jamie Vardy aging, I’d put my money on Salah.

Mohamed Salah will look to build on last year’s 22-goal campaign. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY LIVERPOOL FC

Liverpool will compete, but fall just short of winning the Premier League title

There is a defined top four in the league now, occupied by Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United. While the other three each secured big-money signings (Grealish, Lukaku, and Sancho), Liverpool remained relatively quiet during the transfer window.

However, Liverpool will go into the season with much more continuity than other teams. Pep Guardiola will have to learn how to integrate Grealish, Phil Foden, and Kevin de Bruyne together. Lukaku just recently signed and Thomas Tuchel will need to figure out which players will best accommodate his abilities (Havertz and Mount?). Finally, Sancho will have big shoes to fill after just recently joining the team and with Marcus Rashford sidelined.

Liverpool, on the other hand, have enjoyed full preseasons from Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and more. Not as many of their players had to endure long international commitments as compared to their rivals. Most importantly, they have their stalwart Virgil van Dijk back, which should lead to marked improvements throughout the team. Expect Liverpool to be in the fight for the title up to the end, but fall just short to either Manchester City or Chelsea.

Ahmed Mohamedhttp://www.premierleaguecentral.co.uk
Staff writer for Anfield Central and Premier League Central.

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