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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Liverpool primed for title assault
Gerard Houllier (centre)
Houllier has not been busy in the transfer market
BBC Sport Online tips Liverpool to show more consistency in the Premiership and in Europe.

Liverpool claimed a unique treble in winning the FA, Uefa and Worthington Cups last season - but the Premiership is the trophy they most crave.

And they followed that up by claiming the Charity Shield with a 2-1 win over Manchester United.

Striker Michael Owen was just 10 when the Anfield outfit last won the league title back in 1989/1990 and he is determined to help end the Merseysiders' drought on that front.

"It will be hard to follow last season, but I would swap the three cup medals to be Premiership champions next season," said Owen.

Liverpool are also involved in the Champions League for the first time.

  Summer transfers
John Arne Riise (Monaco)
Ian Armstrong (Port Vale)
Leyton Maxwell (Cardiff)
Christian Ziege (Tottenham)
Alan Navarro (Crewe -- loan)

And if they are to succeed in Europe and domestically they will need to find the consistency that has proved their undoing so often during the last decade.

Manager Gerard Houllier's side showed the promise last season they have overcome that weakness and they will have to prove it from the start of the campaign if they are to challenge Manchester United's supremacy.

"We have a very good chance of catching Manchester United next season," said Owen.

"We got a lot closer to them last term and that will continue, but it's still asking a lot to actually win the title next season.

"Sir Alex Ferguson will still be there as will the same set of players who have won the last three titles, so I don't see a weakness there."

While United have bought Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Veron, Liverpool's only major signing has been the arrival of midfielder Jon Arne Riise from Monaco.

But the Anfield side showed last season they have the capabilities of handling a demanding schedule.

They also have Jamie Redknapp and Vegard Heggem back from a lengthy injuries as well as Jari Litmanen returning after injury curtailed his appearances following his signing in January.

Litmanen supplements one of the most awesome strikeforces in Europe with Robbie Fowler, Emile Heskey and Owen challenging for places.

The only concern could be cover in defence where Sami Hyypia and Stephane Henchoz were so dominant during the successes of the previous campaign.

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