Liverpool FC: What Should Fans Expect from the Reds Next Season?

Jake RoddCorrespondent IIIJuly 30, 2011

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 01:  Dirk Kuyt of Liverpool celebrates with team mates Luis Suarez and  Lucas after scoring the second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool  and Newcastle United at Anfield on May 1, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Expectant is a word every Liverpool fan is familiar with.

Every recent season, the average Liverpool fan has looked up and said "This is our year," only to have trophies elude them yet again.

However, in my opinion, this year is our best chance in a while.

After winning their 19th title last year, Manchester United have given Liverpool that extra motivation to get another title of their own. Tottenham have looked shaky recently. Arsenal risk losing their two best midfielders.

But Liverpool are on the rise.

Not only have recent signings like Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam improved our squad, but Liverpool have been given a blessing in disguise by missing out on European football.

Should Liverpool take three points from Sunderland at Anfield on the first day of the season and then continue a good start, I can see Liverpool being near the top of the table at least until the Boxing Day fixtures.  

Liverpool's first six games are Sunderland (H), Arsenal (A), Bolton (H), Stoke (A), Tottenham (A), and Wolves (H). Out of a maximum 18 points there, Liverpool should look to gather around 14, with draws away from home against Tottenham and Arsenal.

A tough task, as plenty of the teams mentioned have troubled Liverpool recently, but by no means impossible. Fourteen points from the first six should see Liverpool into the top four, and hopefully, they can push on from there.

A good start is always important, but the run in is essential to success.

This season, Liverpool have been extremely fortunate. The run in is as follows: Sunderland, QPR, Wigan, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Blackburn, Fulham, West Brom, Norwich, Chelsea, and Swansea to conclude.

Yes, there is reason to be optimistic with that list, but it's tougher than it looks.

If the season is anywhere near as tight as it was last year, at least five of those teams will be involved in a relegation fight, making those games, particularly the away ones, extremely difficult.

The home against the other top four contenders must be classed as must win, but particularly the games against Manchester City and Tottenham. Should Liverpool win those games, it makes the task of a top four place much more realistic.  

Another crucial factor for Liverpool this season will be injuries. Should Liverpool avoid injuries to key players, like Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, and Andy Carroll, Liverpool could beat anyone.

One thing I am certain of is entertaining football.

With the likes of Charlie Adam, Luis Suarez, and Stewart Downing, Liverpool will be one of the most entertaining sides in the league, but whether entertainment leads to trophies, I don't know.

However, I do know that the top four places will be extremely tight, and domestic glory is very difficult to come by. Therefore, I would urge Kenny to field strong sides in the cup competitions, especially the FA Cup, in order to end the Liverpool trophy drought.

So, a prediction then.

I think Liverpool will finish in third next season, behind Manchester United and Chelsea. What do you think?

Thanks for reading.