Another season on the horizon with fresh hopes for Liverpool fans and we have not finished our transfer operations unlike previous season. Liverpool starts the new campaign with a difficult away trip to Vicarage Road. Liverpool had a good pre season with victories against Bayern Munich and Athletic Bilbao but the uncertainty with coutinho could be demoralizing.
Hornets finished 17th last season and they are earmarked for a relegation battle this season as well by the pundits. However, taking them for granted would be the last thing Liverpool want to do. They have a group of young talents coming in and have a very good manager in Marco Silva. Silva took over Hull city in Last January and transformed them into a team that could beat anyone on their day from spoils left by previous man in the helm Walter Mazzarri. So from a tactical point of view it will be ideal if can look into Hull city last term and His previous clubs. He is a Modern Manager who got a different philosophy and approach from the more celebrated men like Klopp or Pochettino. To put it simple he is more a Diego Simeone than a Jurgan Klopp.
The former Sporting Lisbon man believes in organized defense and counter attacking football. He deploys a 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1with deep defense throughout his career from Estoril to Hull city. It is a formation predominantly used to make quick transition from defense to attack. He gives more emphasize on organized defense with full backs playing narrow and wingers covering two flanks outside full backs depends upon which side of the pitch attack comes from. Single forward remains up and closing in opposition players. He drills his defense by asking to fill the open spaces by walking to the spaces as Rafa Benitez used to do with Liverpool. Central defensive midfielder(s) are asked to cover the back 4 and whilst they presses up they never goes beyond his central midfielders. Two center backs are never press and allow space behind them. The manager prizes a clean sheet.
The team entirely relies on direct counter attacking football. There was a saying while he was at Olympiacos that they give away the ball purposefully so that they can resist the pressure and counter attack. Such pronounce is his style of game. When 4-2-3-1 deployed, a defensive midfielder joins the attack with wingers cutting in and full backs giving width. They applies the 5 seconds rule and will close down on players immediately after losing the ball to allow their full backs to comeback and reach in shape. Single central striker comes down, holds the ball, and involve in build up play. Their best player last seasonTroy Deeney with highest number of goals and assists seems wont be recovering on time after an operation to face Liverpool.
Potential Line up:
Gomes, Jenmaat, Kaboul, Britos, Holbas, capove,Chalbah, Cleverly, Richarlison,Pereyra,Gray
Liverpool had a very good pre season. New comer Mohammed Salahs transition in to the first team was smooth. They got Henderson, Sturridge and Mane back from the injury. Coutinho and Lallana are not available. Coutinhos (injury)? Is a set back and Lallana, who would have replaced coutinho otherwise making it worse. I expect Liverpool to play 4-4-2 with firminho and Sturridge up front with Mane and Salah on the wings, Can and Henderson in the middle and I expect resurgent Moreno to get a call back at left back , Lovren,Matip, Trent Alexander Arnold, and Mignolet completes the team. Counter pressing in this game doesnt make much sense as Watford wont play from the back. With such stubborn organized defenses, Sturridge can be useful. We would be playing with two in the middle, Henderson to sit back and Can to Dictate the Tempo.
First game, First test for Liverpool. This could be a very hard game for reds as they will be against a team that set up not to concede. Liverpool will have to show patience, resilience and quality to break such well-drilled defenses. Liverpool will be having lot of possession as Watford would concede 2/3rd of Pitch, Bit what we do on the final Third will decide this fixture.