Liverpool are champions of Europe and coming off a 97-point league season. Manchester City may be considered likeliest to win the Premier League, but the Reds will go into pretty much any match this season as favourites.
The players, though, aren’t looking at it that way. Despite the sixth European Cup and just one league loss last year and keeping the group together, they’re still counting themselves as underdogs; a team with a point to prove.
I think the main thing in our minds is that we still see ourselves as underdogs,” was Joe Gomez’ response when asked about it. “We still see ourselves as a hungry team that hasn’t achieved what we want to achieve yet.”
On that front, there’s plenty for this side to achieve. On Wednesday they can add a fourth Super Cup to the trophy wall when they take on Chelsea in Istanbul in a game pitting them against last season’s Europa League winners.
Then there’s the chance at a ninth League Cup, eighth FA Cup, seventh European Cup, and 19th league title—plus a shot at their first Club World Cup. In all of them, they will be either clear favourites or one of the favourites.
There’s a lot of football to play this season, though, and being favourites heading in won’t count for much if they don’t then go out and deliver. Being favourites—or amongst the favourites—is, in the end, just an opportunity.
“Playing in finals and for silverware is what you aim for throughout the whole season,” the young centre half added. “To have the opportunity is obviously what we want to be here for. It’s why we’re here and it’s our aim.
“There’s still so much more to do and to surpass what we did last season. I think the main thing is that our mindset is in the right place and whatever is said after that is not up to us.”