Liverpool begin their Premier League campaign away at Chelsea this Sunday with Jurgen Klopp’s side desperate to improve on their fourth placed finish last season

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Premier League season preview: Liverpool

One thing you can predict about Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool this season is that they will be unpredictable.

Following a campaign where they secured a domestic cup double and came agonisingly close to a history-making quadruple, the Reds floundered in 2022/23. Criticisms of an ageing, tired squad were widespread as they eventually finished fifth, missing out on a lucrative Champions League spot.

Klopp’s rebuild this summer has included the purchases of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, but Klopp has also had to deal with a host of outgoings including club captain Jordan Henderson and midfield partner Fabinho.

And ahead of an intriguing opening day clash at Chelsea on Sunday, not to mention a Europa League campaign to contend with, the charismatic German boss heads into the new season still with a number of problems to solve. Mirror Football takes a look at some of the most pressing…

Who will partner Virgil van Dijk?

For all of their erratic form, few can deny that Liverpool were still exciting to watch going forward last season - just ask Manchester United.

More than countering that notion though, was their tendency to essentially be an accident waiting to happen at the back. With Virgil van Dijk failing to regain the seamless form he showed prior to his serious injury, Liverpool’s defensive frailties were all to regularly exposed, and in the case of Real Madrid, in ruthless fashion.

New club skipper Van Dijk’s place is not in question though, but the issue of who partners him in central defence is. Joel Matip was linked with a move away from Anfield this summer, while Ibrahima Konate is yet to justify the £36 million fee Liverpool paid RB Leipzig two years ago.

With Klopp failing to land any further defensive reinforcements this summer, how he deals his own pack could be decisive.

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on April 30, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) Virgil van Dijk will caption Liverpool this season (


Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The role of Trent Alexander-Arnold?

It’s not just in the centre of his defence that Klopp needs to make a big call come the clash at Stamford Bridge this Sunday.

Trent Alexander-Arnold spent the bulk of the season much maligned for his positional play, seemingly dropping out of favour with England manager Gareth Southgate. He finished it lauded as a midfield playmaker, and firmly back in the frame with his international boss.

His mesmeric display in the 6-1 thrashing of Leeds in April hinted at an exciting glimpse into the future for the 24-year-old. If Klopp feels he has the back-up - and **if ** is the operative word here - then surely the ball-playing ability of Alexander-Arnold is simply too good to be operating at right back?

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Trent Alexander-Arnold Jurgen Klopp and Trent Alexander-Arnold (


Liverpool FC)

Will Romeo Lavia sign?

After the summer signings of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, it seemed that the much talked about midfield rebuild at Anfield was as good as complete.

But then in came the Saudi Pro League, and out went Jordan Henderson and Fabinho. With Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain having already left when their contracts expired, and Thiago’s injury problems still ongoing, Klopp set about targeting Southampton teenager Romeo Lavia.

But the pursuit is proving anything but simple. The Championship club have already rejected three Liverpool bids, and are refusing to lower their £50 million of the 19-year-old.

Surely, Klopp and FSG must bite the bullet and cough up the asking price?

Romeo Lavia is being pursued by Liverpool Romeo Lavia is being pursued by Liverpool (


Getty Images)

How patient can Klopp be with Nunez?

Things were a lot simpler for Jordan Klopp when his front three of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, and Roberto Firmino essentially picked itself.

With two-thirds of that trio now in Saudi Arabia though, finding the best trio from an admittedly ample list of options will be another defining factor in whether Liverpool can challenge at the top again. For all his undoubtable qualities, putting the ball in the net has not of yet come easy to Darwin Nunez, and Liverpool can ill-afford a tally of nine league goals again from their No 9.

Salah’s place is surely assured, but if Nunez continues with his less-than-composed finishing, Klopp is unlikely to stay patient for long. With Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, and Diogo Jota also in the ranks, finalising a front three without the Uruguayan is distinctly possible.

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