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By James Jackson @ 2020-09-04 17:06:59
One of the most anticipated first games of the season sees two clubs with heaps of history currently sat at polar opposites. The current Premier League champions, Liverpool face newly promoted Leeds United on Saturday 12 September at Anfield and you don’t want to miss it.
Liverpool’s dominance last season resulted in a well deserved title with a phenomenal 18 point cushion. It’s clear from the manager that the focus is to remain on top and win multiple championships, which is backed up by the continued investment in their already-strong squad. It will be interesting to see what happens in the transfer window with their newly crowned champions status set to attract top players. However, will the disruptive end of the season, celebrations and rapid restart affect how they kick off the new season? Liverpool and Klopp set out to prove they are capable of delivering consistent success in the long-term so anything other than a laser focussed opening game at Anfield will be seen as a disappointment.
Leeds United ended last season on a high, ending up champions of the Championship winning comfortably with a 10 point cushion and gaining automatic promotion to the Premier League. The question will be, can they continue their form in the highest tier against stronger opposition. As we all know, the difference in quality between the Premier League and Championship can be vast. Leeds though, have a lot of history in the Premiership and this rejuvenated team have all the resources and potential to leave their mark on the Premier League this season. The question is, how will they cope against the current Premier League champions as their first fixture? It will be a challenge for last seasons top scorer Patrick Bamford to continue his devastating finishing against one of the world’s best back lines containing Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
A general rule of thumb is that newly promoted teams to the Premier League usually score half the amount of goals compared to the previous Championship season. Also, achieve half the amount of clean sheets and concede 50% more goals compared to the previous campaign. That being said, there are sometimes surprises with newly promoted teams achieving fantastic success in their first season back in the top tier of English football. (94/95 - Newly promoted Nottingham Forrest finishing 3rd!)
The last time Liverpool and Leeds United met in the Premier League was back in February 2004 and resulted in a 2-2 draw. More recently, in 2016, they met in the League Cup which saw Liverpool come out on top with a 2-0 victory at Anfield. Both teams have an attacking style of play which is often called upon so we can expect a high scoring game with plenty of action. What remains to be seen is how much impact the events of last season, both positive and negative, have had on the physical and mental performance of each team and how much will be carried over into this new season.
With both teams meeting for the first time in the Premier League for 16 years and both enjoying fantastic campaigns last season, this clash is truly one to watch.