Liverpool vs Norwich CityEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:00 Aug 9, 2019, Anfield
LIVERPOOL couldn't have come much closer to ending their long wait for title glory last term, losing just once and amassing 97 points as they were pipped on the final day.
They had the misfortune to be up against a Manchester City side that ranks among the finest in Premier League history and settled instead for conquering Europe.
The Champions League victory over Spurs was the first major trophy of the Jurgen Klopp era at Anfield and fans will be hoping he can now lead them to the one piece of silverware they crave more than anything else.
They haven't lorded it over the rest of England since 1990 but if the Reds can replicate last season's stunning form then they will stand a great chance of topping the table.
It's hard to imagine both City and Liverpool showing the same outstanding level of consistency but they still look a cut above the rest of the league and that's reflected in the odds for the title.
City are 1/2 favourites with most firms to claim a third successive crown with Liverpool a best 10/3 with Blacktype. But the odds jump to a massive 22/1 with the same firm for Spurs while Chelsea and Manchester United are 40/1 shots and Arsenal as big as 66/1.
The odds on Liverpool look pretty generous but they haven't enjoyed the best of pre-seasons and have been very quiet in the transfer market, adding just Dutch teenager Sepp van den Berg and backup keeper Adrian.
However, Klopp still has a squad blessed with talent and the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from long-term injury will boost his options in midfield.
Liverpool also more than matched City in the Community Shield last weekend before losing on penalties so they should claim a comfortable victory over newly promoted Norwich in their Premier League opener.
The Canaries are as a big as 25/1 with Coral for a shock win at Anfield while Liverpool are a best 3/19 with Sportingbet so you have to be creative to get some value.
Clean sheets were a key factor in last season's title push so a Reds win without conceding looks the best bet here at 31/40 with Betvictor.
Norwich were the surprise package in the Championship last season and played some exciting football as they claimed the title under German boss Daniel Farke.
But unlike fellow promoted sides Sheffield United and Aston Villa they haven't splashed the cash in a bid to stay up, instead relying on mostly free transfers and loans.
Farke has raided the Bundesliga for keeper Ralf Fahrmann and striker Josip Drmic while Patrick Roberts has arrived on loan from Manchester City and Ibrahim Amadou from Sevilla.
Those look like shrewd moves but the Premier League is still a big step up in class and it's hard to see the Canaries getting anything from Anfield on the opening night.
Teemu Pukki was on fire last term, netting 36 times for club and country, but it could be a thankless task for the Finn up against Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.
At least Norwich won't have to face Luis Suarez this time after he netted 12 times in six games against them during his spell at Liverpool. However, the Reds still have a potent strike force, even though Sadio Mane might miss out as he builds up fitness.
Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi and Mo Salah started up front in the Community Shield and, of that trio, it's the Brazilian who offers the best value in the anytime scorer market. Firmino is 21/20 with Betway while Origi is evens at Betfred and Salah a best 31/40 with Betway.
VAR makes its debut in the Premier League so it might be worth taking a punt on a penalty being awarded at 2/1 with Bet365. Those pesky video refs can also flag up red-card offences so backing a sending-off at 21/4 with Unibet might also be a decent option.
This English Premier League match between Liverpool and Norwich City will be played on Aug 9, 2019 and kick off at 20:00