Nobody believes as strongly as Liverpool fans. The English Premier League side are kings in waiting in the eyes of their fans, knocked off their rightful perch by free-spending upstarts like Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal. But is this the year they can finally reassert their once accepted dominance of English football?
Early signs are good. After four games, the Reds have won four. But early signs are worth nothing in May, and if you chuck all your online casino bonuses at an Anfield victory lap are you in with a realistic chance of sports betting success?
Someone who thinks you are is Stuart Pearce, the legendary former-England full back, whose commitment to the game earned him the nickname “Psycho”.
He reckons that Jurgen Klopp’s side can go four places better than last year and leapfrog north-west neighbours Manchester City.
Klopp’s project has been a long-term one, and now his side have earned their spurs, including in the Champions League final last year. That’s given the Koppites belief, togetherness and experience according to Pearce.
Liverpool fans always have high expectations and great belief, but this could be the year that the team shares their hunger and desire with enough passion to make it come true.
Klopp’s work in the transfer market has also impressed observers. Former Liverpool player, Craig Bellamy, credits the German boss with sorting out a leaky defence and adding pace.
Key to their season will be their progress in the Champions League. And that of their nearest rivals. City’s boss, Pep Guardiola is desperate to win Europe’s top crown and show he can do it away from Barca. For Klopp, the Premier League is the top target – a target his club’s fans have now waited 29 years to hit.
This year’s Champions League draw has given Liverpool a much harder group than City. Could an early exit be an unexpected blessing for the Reds?
If you’re a bettor – with an online casino bonus burning a hole in your account – you’ll believe in luck. And Liverpool are due a bit of luck. Last season – according to ESPN – they lost 12 points to bad refereeing decisions and picked up only three penalties, which is a ridiculously low total.
They also lost key players to injuries. While the squad now has more depth to deal with losing the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as they did to a knee injury last time out, they will also hope that good fortune and fitness combine to keep their strongest 11 on the pitch for as much of the season as possible.
Eye to eye
Most serious observers see Manchester City as the team to beat. That’s Liverpool’s target, and head-to-head fixtures between the two offer the Scousers some hope.
Last season they didn’t just end an impressive City unbeaten run in a 4-3 thriller at Anfield, they also bested the Blues twice on their way to the Champions League final. That’s a big psychological boost in a season where points are at a premium and beating your nearest rivals is arguably the most important determination of your final league place. Last season, Liverpool failed in this respect, shedding points against rivals.
They can do better this year, and that might be enough for the ultimate victory.