Paul Merson sends warning to Liverpool FC about potential weakness
Paul Merson reckons Liverpool FC could struggle with fatigue in their bid to retain the title
Paul Merson reckons Liverpool FC’s lack of squad depth could become an issue if the Reds reach the latter stages of the Champions League and FA Cup next season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will start the defence of their Premier League title on Saturday when Liverpool FC take on promoted side Leeds United at Anfield.
Liverpool FC ended their 30-year wait to win the title last term as Klopp became the first Reds manager to guide the club to Premier League title glory.
The Merseyside outfit have only signed Greece international Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos in an £11.75m deal to provide Andy Robertson with competition for the left-back spot in Klopp’s team.
However, the Reds have been quiet in comparison to their top-four rivals Chelsea FC, who have added seven new faces to their squad in the summer transfer window.
Liverpool FC have won the Premier League, the Champions League, the Fifa World Club Cup and the Uefa Super Cup over the past 24 months.
But Sky Sports pundit Merson believes the Reds could struggle with a lack of squad depth when Klopp’s players face a demanding fixture schedule in the second half of the 2020-21 season.
“Liverpool will be up there this season, make no mistake about it, they are still the team to beat,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“The one thing they bring to the table above all else is consistency. Yes, they took their foot off the pedal after lockdown and lost a couple of games after the title was won, but before that their consistency was phenomenal.
“We talk about how hard it is for teams to defend the title and go back to back, and for that reason I like to see champions strengthen.
“Some decide to stick with a winning formula and that proves difficult the following season. It will be interesting to see which path Liverpool take.
“They are going to be title contenders, they are going to go deep in the Champions League and the FA Cup and League Cup, so there is going to be a lot of football after such a quick turnaround.
“If the full-backs, who are integral to this team, get injured, if Virgil van Dijk or Roberto Firmino get injured, a squad that lacks depth could well struggle.
“Come January and February, there is going to be a lot of injuries and fatigue and that could perhaps play into the hands of Manchester City, who have a bigger squad.”
Liverpool FC won the Premier League title with seven games to spare last season to allow the Reds to take the foot off the gas in the final month or so of the 2019-20 season.
The Merseyside outfit will look to retain the top-flight crown for the first time since 1984.