How Liverpool could line-up for the first match of the 2016/17 season
The Premier League have announced the fixtures for the upcoming 2016-2017 season starting 13 August. With the arrival of mastermind managers like Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola, this will be one of the best seasons ever. The first game week of the season is always exciting and this time, it is going to be even more exciting.
Football fans from around the world will be getting to see Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool lock horns with Arsene Wenger's Arsenal on the first day of the 2016/17 season. Despite not having European Football next season Jurgen Klopp is busy strengthening his side. The German will be looking to field a line-up, strong enough to beat last season's runner-ups, in the first match of the season 2016/17.
Liverpool have been already active in strengthening their squads, securing a move for Joel Matip for a free transfer from Schalke earlier this year, as well as young midfielder Marko Grujic. Liverpool have already followed these signings with the signing of goalkeeper Loris Karius.
The commencement of Euro 2016 and Copa America 2016 have slowed down the transfer market, but still there are a lot of rumours doing the rounds as many players are linked with moves to Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp clearly knows whom he wants to bring to the club and is confident of getting them despite failing to achieve European Football last season. Klopp will be hoping to get his targets to Anfield before the pre-season training starts so that he can let the newcomers settle at the club. With that being said, how could Liverpool's line-up look like in the first game of the next season? Let's have a look.
Who misses out?
Loris Karius - The young German is expected to be Liverpool's new number one next season, but Karius won't be available since he will be probably with the German National team at the Rio Olympics in August. So, Simon Mignolet will be continuing in goal for Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League.
Mamadou Sakho - Last few months have been very tense for the Frenchman. Sakho was accused of doping and a big suspension looked likely for him, but later things took a wild turn and now it looks like he won't be getting any suspension. Even though he is expected to be available for team selection for Liverpool at the start of the season, Klopp will give him some time to get back to the 'game atmosphere'.
Alberto Moreno - Many of the Liverpool fans have demanded the club to sign a new left-back after Moreno had a very inconsistent season last time. The young Spaniard was bought from Sevilla in 2014 with great hopes, but his defensive struggles have caused Liverpool some points last season (and also the Europa League trophy according to many Liverpool fans).
It looks like Liverpool will be listening to the demand of their fans with their eyes set on Leicester City's Ben Chilwell. The 19-year-old left-back has been scouted by Liverpool several times last season. Chilwell has also attracted interest from other English clubs like Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs, but it looks like Liverpool have won the race for the English youngster.
James Milner - The former Manchester City player had a very slow start to his Liverpool career, but he later turned out to be a crucial player for the Reds. Despite finishing last season on a high note, he might not be able to find himself a spot in the Liverpool starting Line-Up against Arsenal.
Jordan Henderson will take back the armband from Milner and will partner Emre Can in Liverpool's midfield. We might be able to see a couple of new boys (Marko Grujic and Piotr Zielinski) on the bench for Liverpool.
Robert Firmino - Like Karius, Firmino is also expected to be at the Rio Olympics in August and reliable sources like the Liverpool Echo and Paul Joyce have confirmed Liverpool's interest in Southampton's Sadio Mane.
He was a Liverpool target last summer but they couldn't get a deal done for the Southampton man. Now, it looks like Klopp has identified Mane as the attacking player he wants in his team and a £25 million deal for the Senegalese winger is a real possibility.
No Gotze at Liverpool?
Liverpool journalists like James Pearce, Melissa Reddy and Paul Joyce have confirmed Liverpool's interest in Mario Gotze as Klopp wants a Borussia Dortmund reunion at Merseyside.
New Bayern Munich manager, Carlo Ancelotti, does not have Mario Gotze in his plans but the German insists he wants to fight for his place at Bayern. Gotze also stated that he wants to work under Ancelotti and is confident of breaking into the first team.
This transfer saga has cooled off due to the Euros, but we can expect it to reignite by the end of the tournament. Liverpool are expected to come back for the German, despite the fact that the player wants to stay in Germany.
Whether Liverpool get Mario Gotze or not, the above line-up is a decent upgrade on what Liverpool had last season and might be enough to defeat Arsenal on the opening day of the season.