Alan Shearer has written off Liverpool's chances of finishing in the top four in 2015/16 before a ball has been kicked.
Liverpool finished sixth last season, ending the campaign with a horrific 6-1 loss to Stoke City, but have had an active transfer window.
Shearer said: "I do not see Liverpool being strong enough. It does not sit easily with me that Brendan Rodgers sacked his two assistants this summer because he wants to go in a “new technical direction”, having spent the money that he has.
"So Liverpool have to get off to a good start — but I don’t think they have a chance of finishing in the top four."
Liverpool begin the season with a visit to the Britannia Stadium, scene of their beating at the hands of Stoke in May.
New signing from Aston Villa, Christian Benteke is expected to lead the line, while fellow new additions like Roberto Firmino, James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne add strength throughout the team.
Liverpool have to believe, contrary to Shearer's comments, that they do have a big chance of qualifying for the Champions League once again.
They do have the Europa League as a potential distraction, but early elimination would not be the worst thing to happen to them with that in mind.
An early win against Stoke would be crucial for them, but even more pivotal is the August 24th fixture away to Arsenal. If they can win that, then the club's detractors like Shearer may begin to believe this Liverpool side can go onto have a successful season.