Liverpool: 2021/22 season preview
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Trent Alexander-Arnold has suggested that Liverpool will reap the rewards of playing in front of a packed-out Anfield once again when the new Premier League season gets underway. The Reds will begin their campaign with a trip to newly-promoted Norwich City before opening the turnstiles to a capacity crowd for the first time in over a year against Burnley later this month.
Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a domestic triumph with a remarkable surge to the title in 2019/20, but Jurgen Klopp’s side were forced to lift the coveted trophy without supporters lining the stands.
They went on to achieve a third-placed finish last season, failing to defend their crown as the national COVID-19 restrictions preventing fans from attending matches remained in force.
However, the Merseyside outfit will be chomping at the bit to get back in front of supporters and go in search of another Premier League title with the full backing of the Anfield faithful.
Alexander-Arnold, who was unfortunate to miss England’s Euro 2020 campaign with a pre-tournament injury, will be expected to hold things down at right-back in order to help Liverpool pip Manchester City to this year’s honours.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, the 22-year-old insisted that his side will be buoyed by the return of supporters, underlining the importance of a vocal home crowd.
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“The fans impacted us the most last year, we felt it,” Alexander-Arnold told The Athletic.
“To have them back should impact upon us the most again. It will give us a big boost. We’re all excited for it, because it brings a certain level of intimidation to the other team.
“Anfield can become hostile and loud very quickly. People don’t shut up once they sense a weakness. The stands are tight to the pitch and they’re high.
“Then you have You’ll Never Walk Alone and the history. I know that I wouldn’t want to come to Anfield as an opposition player. The occasion is huge.
“Then you have to consider the team. It all combines to make sure we go out there and win. Last season, we missed a lot of that massively.
I know when I was a kid when I dreamed of lifting league titles, it wasn’t in front of an empty Anfield. For me, we have won the league but it wasn’t the way I expected.
“So it’s still what I need to do. I’m hoping next May, that’ll be ticked off the list.”
Although Alexander-Arnold is quietly confident that Liverpool can mount another title challenge this season, the Reds will need to work exceptionally hard in order to beat the likes of City, United and Chelsea to the trophy.
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Klopp recently suggested that Thomas Tuchel’s side could be the overwhelming favourites, but stressed that Liverpool will also be in with a shout if they can channel their energy into winning matches first and foremost.
“City is not the only challenge,” said the Liverpool boss in May.
“I think Chelsea looks, I said when Thomas arrived there, this squad is a present and together with Thomas it works out really well.
“If you look at the squad, they can make 11 changes and you think: ‘That’s a proper team’. They will go for it next year, definitely. They will not get worse. That’s a fact.
“United are in a good way, so it’s not about who is far away or whatever. It means you just have to win your own football games and that’s possible.”
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