The preseason campaigns for the major clubs have begun, which means we are getting closer to the start of the 2023-24 season. Our preseason betting previews continue as we push toward the opening kick. Be sure to check out the Premier League betting previews, with the latest being a betting preview on Arsenal. This week we highlight the expectations and betting angles for Liverpool FC. The Reds hope to bounce back and regain their European dominance after one of the more disappointing seasons in quite some time.
Will Liverpool Finish Top 4?
Liverpool supporters had a roller coaster of a season last year. They had to battle injuries throughout the season and lacked the dominance they’d grown accustomed to. Despite finishing the season in form, they failed to finish inside the top four for the first time since the 2015-16 season. It was a season that not only saw them fail to qualify for the Champions League; they also finished the season without a trophy after being eliminated from the Champions League in the Round of 16 and eliminated from the FA Cup in the 5th round.
Heading into the 2023-24 season, many questions must be answered before they can consider contending for the Premier League title. Can Virgil Van Dijk shake off the injury rust and return to being the ever-important anchor of that backline? The 32-year-old Dutch defender sustained a significant injury in the 2020-21 season and then dealt with knee and hamstring issues over the last two seasons. His 6.97 player rating via Whoscored.com was only good enough for 47th best in the Premier League. Liverpool will need to get more from him this season.
They would also like to get more out of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who sometimes finds himself out of position and getting beat by opposing attackers.
It felt like this was the first time Liverpool were this leaky and not one of the teams with the fewest goals conceded. Last season they conceded 1.24 goals per match which was only the sixth fewest in the Premier League. They were stout at Anfield, only conceding 0.89 per match, but on the road, they conceded 1.58.
Despite their defensive woes, Liverpool should still fare better this season than last. Their attack should see significant boosts this season. Last year they played without a full deck. They lost Sadio Mane in the offseason. Diogo Joto and Luis Diaz were injured to start the season, and Darwin Nunez was in his first season in the Premier League. Now with Nunez having more experience and Joto and Diaz having a full preseason, they should grow. Not to mention Cody Gakpo and Curtis Jones look like strong players for Liverpool.
Liverpool have also been active during this transfer window. They picked up two great attacking midfield options in Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister. With an improved attack this season, I have Liverpool finishing inside the top four. However, “Liverpool Top 4 Finish” at -195, it’s not a play for me. That price is too juicy for me, with the defensive question marks and the failure to address them in the offseason.
Player to Watch
Mohamed Salah – Forward
Salah is hands down the best player on Liverpool and the unquestioned heartbeat of the attack. The 31-year-old Egyptian forward has been supporting his team’s attack since 2017. The 2021-22 Golden Boot winner signed another lucrative contract with Liverpool last July, meaning Salah is under contract with Liverpool until 2025. There are some speculations that he could be on the move once his contract runs out, citing La Liga as his preferred destination. How Liverpool finish on the table this season could determine his future as early as next season. Not playing in the Champions League in consecutive seasons is likely something Salah would not prefer at this point in his career.
A bet that has my attention is Top Goal Scorer Without Erling Haaland 2023-24: Mohamed Salah (+600). It’s not a bet I will take right now, but it’s something I am monitoring. Should Tottenham’s Harry Kane get moved to a team outside the Premier League, it’s something that I’m going to pounce on instantly. Even in a down year, Salah tallied 19 goals. Plus, he takes the penalty kicks. With Kane gone and Ivan Toney suspended, I like Salah, especially with the additions to the midfield. This bet is a wait-and-see, and be ready with your phone should the news break. I’ll try my best to post the bet on my Twitter page should the news break.