What Does The Season Hold For... Liverpool?

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IJuly 12, 2008

Liverpool have been nearly men in the Premier League under Rafa Benitez failing to seriously challenge for the title Reds fans are desperate to win above any other one.

The closest under Benitez that Liverpool have come to ending their 18 year drought is third. Last season was yet another fourth place finish but the points gap is slowly becoming closer.

Benitez, who is preparing for his fourth season at Anfield, has enjoyed success in the UEFA Champions League, but has struggled to find the right formula to succeed in the Premier League.

Liverpool's poor home form dented their ambitions of fighting for the title and Benitez has pin-pointed an improvement in defending set-pieces as key to their hopes of going all the way in the championship race.

With a few quality additions to an already star-studded squad Liverpool could finally end their overdue search for the league title.

The only new faces at Anfield this summer are Swiss defender Philipp Degen who has arrived on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund and Italian international Andrea Dossena from Udinese.

The Reds are involved in a very public pursuit of Aston Villa and England international Gareth Barry as Benitez looks to unite him with England team-mate Steven Gerrard. Benitez has also admitted a liking of Spurs and Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane.

Liverpool scored more goals than anyone in all competitions last season and Benitez has admitted he is hoping to shore up his defence next term. He is unlikely to look for any new central defenders having brought in Martin Skrtel last January to provide cover for Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia.

A striker or a withdrawn attacker to play alongside Torres would help ease the burden on the young Spaniard's shoulders after he exceeded all expectations in his first year at Anfield. Hence the move for Keane, any move for the hit-man could allow Gerrard to return to midfield and pull the strings.

It would take a momentous effort to claim the league for the red half of Merseyside. Most bookies have them at fourth favourites to win the title but if Barry and Keane sign to play at Anfield, then you should consider having a punt at 7-1.