Rio Ferdinand predicts where Liverpool FC will finish this season
Rio Ferdinand discusses Liverpool FC's Premier League title hopes this season
Rio Ferdinand is tipping Liverpool FC to defend their Premier League title this season as they prepare for their opener against Leeds United this weekend.
The Reds were the standout team in the Premier League last term as they won the top-flight trophy with seven games to spare and finished a staggering 18 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City.
Liverpool FC are looking to defend their title this term, with the likes of Chelsea FC and Manchester City having made a number of new signings to bolster their squads ahead of the new campaign.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand believes that Liverpool FC are the favourites to win the title once again this term, but he feels that a lot depends on the Reds keeping their key players fit throughout the campaign.
Speaking in an interview with TEAMtalk, Ferdinand said: “No one can say Liverpool had a freak season because they finished so far ahead of their rivals, but they did have one big factor on their side that they cannot guarantee going forward.
“The key for them has been having their key players fit for the best part of two seasons.
“It has been massive and what we have yet to find out is how they will cope if they are to lose a few big names for an extended period.
“Virgil van Dijk has played nearly every game for two seasons and it’s hard to keep that going. Mo Salah has been fit for all the big games and so has Sadio Mane.
“If they lose one of two of their players with big injuries, then we will see something else from them.
“What have they got in reserve to come in for these proven stars and maintain this level of consistency? That’s what we are waiting to see.
“Questions will be asked of this Liverpool team and their recruitment from this point forward. Their front three have been fit consistently and they might need to look at having some better quality in reserve if Salah or Mane, in particular, are out for a long period.
“When I look at the teams I played in when we were winning titles every season at Manchester United, we never had two seasons when all the top players were fit for the big games, so Liverpool have had some fortune there and obviously do things right on the medical side as well to get their players right.
“If they can continue to keep those players fit, I don’t see Liverpool being stopped this season, but it is unlikely that will happen year after year.
“If things change with the personnel, it opens it up for the other teams and not just Man City.”
Liverpool FC will kick off their Premier League title defence with a home clash against newly-promoted Leeds United this weekend.
The Reds will then face Chelsea FC, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton in a tricky-looking start to their top-flight campaign.
Liverpool FC have been relatively quiet in the summer transfer window so far, with the Merseyside outfit having so far only brought in left-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos.
That said, the Reds do still have plenty of time to add to their squad this summer, with the transfer window not scheduled to close until 5 October.