Liverpool will travel to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea in Saturday's opening matchup.
Jurgen Klopp’s revolution took another step in the right direction with a resounding 5-1 victory over Hull. It seems as if the Reds are incapable of putting a foot wrong at present. Generally speaking, Liverpool have perennially alternated between the brilliant and the abject. Perhaps some demons have finally been exorcized and a concerted title push is in the pipeline.
Swansea City fought valiantly against Manchester City last time out and at one point threatened to create a slight shock. Francesco Guidolin's side are still flirting dangerously with the bottom of the table and will need to find something extra this weekend to avoid another valiant defeat.
Swansea v Liverpool | Saturday 1 October | Liberty Stadium | 13:30
To Win (90 Mins)
Swansea 11/2 | Draw 36/10 | Liverpool 9/20
The Swans have failed to address the mammoth striker vacuum left by Bafetimbi Gomis. Fernando Llorente has looked off the pace since his surprising move to the club. It seems as if the pace has been slightly intense for the Spanish striker. They have struggled to identify their brand, struggling to maintain the tight passing identity that was a hallmark under both Brendan Rodgers and Gary Monk.
Glyfi Sigurdsson is the only player in their side who could possibly filter into the Reds side effectively, and it will be up to him to try disrupt Liverpool’s momentum through his dead-ball proficiency.
One area where Swansea have occasionally looked formidable is the heart of midfield. Leroy Fer has been quietly controlling and has looked effective when marauding forward. He will need to push forward as often as possible because lying in wait for this Liverpool side is tantamount to professional suicide.
Kyle Naughton and Stephen Kingsley need to remain disciplined when confronted with the quick feet of Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane. I actually think that Swansea showed enough this week to suggest they could withstand the Liverpool onslaught for some time.
Liverpool have successfully sidestepped the inconsistency that has long plagued them. Aside from a poor performance against Burnley, the Reds have been the model of consistency. Daniel Sturridge has had to remain content with a place on the bench while Klopp creates a fluid, dynamic attacking force lead by Coutinho and Mane.
He has had to deal with a fairly unpleasant scandal involving Mamadou Sakho. The French defender has claimed that Klopp has been dishonest regarding his fitness, simply choosing not to select the controversial Frenchman.
Jordan Henderson will no doubt be looking to minimize the effect that Sigurdsson can have on proceedings. Joel Matip and co will no doubt feel that they can easily curtail the threat offered by Llorente.
I’m sure that Klopp will feel quite confident that the interchangeability offered by players such as Adam Lallana and Firmino will give Swansea all kinds of issues. Liverpool’s pace will practically render Naughton and Kingsley redundant as an attacking threat.
Verdict: HT/FT Double - Draw/Liverpool (31/10)
I think I saw enough in Swansea last weekend to suggest that they could be fairly obstinate for some time. Fer and Cork will sit deep and frustrate the Liverpool ball players for some time. But the Swans will tire in the second half and opportunities will grow more plentiful.
Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets