Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp enters his second full season in charge at Anfield, and it's a big season for the Reds, who will need to juggle multiple competitions if they can make it through a Champions League playoff round against Hoffenheim later this month.
But before European competition, the domestic campaign gets underway for Liverpool with a lunchtime kick-off on Saturday against Watford at Vicarage Road.
Klopp's Reds finished fourth in the Premier League table last season, and had one of the most feared attacking corps in the league with a four-headed monster of Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho. That quarter powered the Reds to 78 goals scored and some truly breathtaking strikes.
But as good as the attack was, the club struggled in defence, starting midfielder James Milner at left back for most of the season in place of the out-of-favor Alberto Moreno. Milner showed his versatility and did a fine job, but the club will certainly look to bolster their back line before the summer transfer window closes by ramping up their pursuit of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
The Reds have made a pair of key signings so far, bringing in forward Dominic Solanke from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee and winger Mohamed Salah from Roma for a reported £34 million. Both players have looked very good during the club's preseason run, but the real work for the Liverpool brass will be in the coming weeks as they try to keep Coutinho from leaving for Barcelona in the wake of Neymar's departure to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Merseyside club has already turned down a pair of bids from Barcelona reported to be £72-76 million and they would do well to keep their Brazilian star if they hope to make a run at some silverware this season.
Klopp's men will begin the season shorthanded as Lallana will be out until October after suffering a thigh injury in a preseason fixture against Atletico Madrid.
"This is certainly not news we would have wanted," Klopp said. "Unfortunately, the damage is such that it will likely mean Adam is out for a couple of months not weeks, so I think we can pretty much rule him out of August and September."
Despite losing the dynamic playmaker, the manager insisted his club will be prepared to face a tough Watford side on Saturday.
"We have to get a little bit of fresh legs back, but that will happen. We will be prepared and hopefully it's good enough to win."
Watford head into the new season with a new manager at the helm in former Hull City boss Marco Silva. The Hornets are looking to improve on last season's 17th-place finish under Silva's watch.
Troy Deeney returns for his seventh season with the club, but this time he'll have a new strike partner in forward Andre Grey, who signed from Burnley for a club-record fee of 18.5 million pounds.
Watford managed only 40 goals scored last season and Gray should help raise that figure after scoring 33 goals during his two seasons at Turf Moor. The Hornets also brought in former Manchester United and Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley for eight million pounds and England U-21 midfielder Will Hughes from Derby County, also for an eight million pound fee.
"It's been a long time coming," Hughes said. "I'm looking forward to a massive challenge and the chance to play in the Premier League. I didn't have the greatest of seasons last year with Derby, but the chance to come to the Premier League was one I couldn't turn down.
"I've wanted to play in the Premier League: it's every young boy's dream, and it's been a long time coming for me. I've played against Watford many times. It had a good vibe about it: good family club, and it was an easy choice in the end."
Liverpool have won each of their last four opening-week fixtures, after failing to win any of the previous four. Three of Liverpool's four defeats on the opening day of the season have come away from Anfield (8-5-3). Watford are yet to record an opening day Premier League win (0-2-2).
Updated August 10, 2017