Liverpool opened the 2014-15 Premier League season in August with high hopes for a promising year.
The club was coming off a second-place finish in the previous season’s campaign, had once again made Anfield a site that opposing teams feared, and were returning to Champions League play after a four-year hiatus.
While Luis Suarez had taken his talents to Spain, confidence was high that Daniel Sturridge would slide into the No. 1 goal scoring spot, with Raheem Sterling making a similar progression as Sturridge’s sidekick.
The club was active over the summer, bringing in Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Emre Can, Alberto Moreno and Dejan Lovren, adding youth and depth to the squad, and Rickie Lambert for experience. And just after the start of the season, Liverpool added the mercurial Mario Balotelli to bolster the offense.
One of the biggest advantages was the continued guidance of manager Brendan Rodgers, who rarely made a misstep as Liverpool battled Manchester City down to the season’s final game in 2013-14.
As the calendar turns to 2015, however, things are not going as planned at Anfield.