Yes, it is true. Liverpool can win the English Premier League this season. Here are five reasons why.
5. Injury to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester United is significantly weakened without him in the lineup, which is great news for Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. We must not discount the abilities of Wayne Rooney, however. United still has a very solid team, and they did have a slow start last season as well. Of course they are favorites to take it all again this year.
4. The Emergence of Javier Mascherano.
Behind Owen Hargreaves, he's probably the best defensive midfielder in the EPL. He made many opposing attacking midfielders miserable last season. I expect him to do just as well this year.
3. Key Acquisitions Robbie Keane, Andrea Dossena, and Philip Degen.
While I do expect Degen and Dossena to have an effect in every game they play, the acquisition of Keane should make the most impact. Nothing against Dirk Kuyt, but Keane is much faster and bigger and the hope is he will partner with Torres well.
2. Fernando Torres.
Now that he is comfortable in the Liverpool side and Premier League game, look for him to produce even more this year. Having Robbie Keane to help him out will be a big plus, and fatigue will be a less likely issue for Torres, who just looked tired at certain times of the year.
1. Steven Gerrard.
This team will go nowhere without Stevie G, and everyone knows it. He has the goods to completely turn around games in all facets. I'm not just saying he'll score a momentum swinging goal or two. I'm talking complete dominance in one part of the game or another.
He makes great tackles and plays great defense. Guys like Ronaldo just score big goals and dominate offensively. Gerrard dominates the midfield and as we've seen over the years, midfield dominance wins many games. As long as he's healthy, Liverpool is going to be near the top of the table.
Players to look for as well: Ryan Babel, Dirk Kuyt, the ever underrated Yossi Benayoun, Xavi Alonso, and Martin Skyrtel.
Starting Lineup - I'm not going to predict formation, simply because Rafa Benitez is so ridiculously unpredictable at times.
Keeper: Pepe Reina
Defense [left to right]: Fabio Aurelio, Jamie Carrager, Sami Hyypia, Andrea Dossena
Midfield: Steven Gerrard, Jermaine Pennant, Xavi Alonso, Javier Mascherano
Forward: Robbie Keane, Fernando Torres
Bench: Steve Finnan, Alvaro Arbeloa, Daniel Agger, Martin Skyrtel, Ryan Babel, Yossi Benayoun, Lucas Leiva, Sebastian Leto, Dirk Kuyt, Andriy Voronin, David N'gog, Diego Cavalieri