Former Premier League defender William Gallas believes Liverpool could miss out on a place in the top four this season.
Last season Liverpool finished just one point behind title winners Manchester City, with the battle for supremacy going down to the final day. While Liverpool beat Wolves at Anfield, they needed Man City to drop points against Aston Villa, but Pep Guardiola’s side came from 2-0 down to secure their second consecutive title – as everyone will of course remember.
Liverpool’s final day heartbreak came at the end of an excellent season for them in which they went all the way in all four tournaments they entered. After scooping the EFL Cup and FA Cup, the Reds’ Quadruple hopes ended with just two games left to play of the season, the furthest an English team has gone without actually claiming all four major trophies.
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In their next game after the Premier League season ended, Liverpool lost the Champions League final 1-0 to Real Madrid in a game they dominated but just couldn’t get the better of Thibaut Courtois and his man-of-the-match performance.
Liverpool have strengthened this summer too, signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica for just over £64m to lead their line, having already bolstered their attack with Luis Diaz in the January transfer window.
However, Liverpool also sold Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich for £28m and Gallas, who won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2004/05 and 2005/06, believes that could cost them a place in the top four.
“As an ex-London player, I have to say Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham to win the Premier League,” Gallas told Genting Casino.
“After watching Man City, they are still strong, Liverpool will still be there. It will be difficult for the London clubs to be honest.
“If Chelsea does not buy the right striker, they will not finish in the top four. Arsenal will be in the top four for sure. Liverpool can miss out because they don’t have Sadio Mane anymore and Diaz does not have the same impact.
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“Liverpool always concede goals too, like against Fulham. Even if I like how they play, I think it will be City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.”
Liverpool didn’t get their 2022/23 Premier League campaign off to the best of starts, drawing 2-2 with newly-promoted Fulham, twice having to come from behind to secure their point in London.
The Reds have now conceded first in each of their past five Premier League matches, their longest such run since going behind in six consecutive matches between April and August 1997. However, Jurgen Klopp was quick to squash any talks of a slow start, hitting back at a journalist who asked how Liverpool would combat their slow start.
“That’s easy. That’s a silly question a little bit,” Klopp in response. “By not being slow!”
When it was suggested that the pattern of slow starts was beginning to show towards the end of the 2021/22 campaign, Klopp added: “Towards the end, you can’t compare that. Your life is so easy! After 55 games, and then you tell me ‘oh that was a slow start.’ What do you want?
“These are completely different situations, this is the start of the season. I promise you.”