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Georginio Wijnaldum Says 'Everyone Wants to Win Against Liverpool Now'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool during the FA Community Shield fixture between Liverpool and Manchester City  at Wembley Stadium on August 4, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Georginio Wijnaldum has said Liverpool will be the side everyone wants to beat in 2019-20 after their successes last term. 

Liverpool kick off the new Premier League campaign on Friday when they host newly promoted Norwich City at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side enjoyed a record-breaking Premier League campaign last season, but they still finished second to Manchester City:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Liverpool are the first team in top-flight history to lose just one game and not win the title. No other side has won as many as 30 games and reached 97 points and failed to lift the trophy. Watch #MOTD 👉 https://t.co/BZoVsqpaEK https://t.co/vfWgXhIr6d

They claimed the ultimate consolation prize by winning the UEFA Champions League, but the main aim again in 2019-20 for the Merseyside giants will be to break their league title duck stretching back to 1990.

On paper, Norwich at home is a generous opener for the new season, but Wijnaldum is expecting a tough contest in every game in 2019-20, per Glenn Price on the Reds' official website:

"I am expecting a really tough game. If I’m honest, I expect that from every opponent because everyone wants to win against Liverpool now because of the success we had last season. So if we are not at 100 per cent and don’t give everything that we have, it will be even harder than it used to be. What we have to do is just work hard and try to perform."

Liverpool's full squad has only just come back together after Sadio Mane's Monday return to the Reds' Melwood training base.

The 27-year-old had been on holiday following his appearances for Senegal at the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Sadio Mane of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on June 01, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were also late returning due to international commitments.

But Wijnaldum said, despite a tough pre-season, there can be no excuses if Liverpool don't make a fast start to the new campaign, per Price:

"You just have to collect as much points as possible, especially in the beginning, and try to build a team who will be even better at the end of the season. It was, of course, difficult to prepare a team because not all of the players were back at pre-season. That’s the situation we had to deal with and maybe next season will be the same, so we just made the best of it.

"Now everyone is back, we can build and try and do even better than last season. Basically it starts now because now we have the whole team together. But the Premier League and all those other games don’t wait until you have your squad together, so we have to perform."

Liverpool have been remarkably quiet in the transfer window over the summer.

The only significant signing they have made is to bring in back-up goalkeeper Adrian to replace the departed Simon Mignolet.

The rest of their top-six rivals, meanwhile, have all made at least one purchase who could play a big role in the new season:

ESPN UK @ESPNUK

Man Utd: Maguire Arsenal: Pepe Chelsea: Pulisic Man City: Rodri Tottenham: Ndombele Liverpool: https://t.co/y5T9QOgyG0

That may not have a negative impact on Liverpool, as they have also managed to keep all of their key players at the club.

But it will be a huge ask for them to improve on last season in 2019-20 given they only lost one league game and won the Champions League in 2018-19.