Are Liverpool serious title contenders?

3 months ago

Jurgen Klopp has opened up about Liverpool’s title chances, admitting that it will still be difficult to win the Premier League, despite strengthening his squad over the summer. The Reds have made a number of high profile signings over the last few weeks, bringing in the likes of Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alisson, and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Liverpool kick off their 2018/19 Premier League campaign at the weekend, with a home fixture against West Ham. The Anfield elite came desperately close to bagging their first piece of silverware under Jurgen Klopp at the end of last season, when they reached the final of the Champions League, only to suffer a humiliating defeat to Real Madrid. The result was a bitter pill to swallow, particularly for goalkeeper Loris Karius, who made two notable mistakes that turned the tie in Madrid’s favour. In reaching the final however, Liverpool proved that they were once again a force to be reckoned with in European football, and having emerged as one of the few sides to hold their own against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp’s side may finally be ready to mount a serious title challenge.

While Liverpool fans have reason to be optimistic, Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions that Liverpool could be favourites for the title.

“The league will be difficult,” he told the Liverpool Echo “It is not about judging our situation and thinking ‘wow, really good’.

“We need to be ready each week, not only for a few games. That is our challenge.”

Klopp could be without some of his more established squad players for Saturday’s match against the Hammers. Both Ragner Klavan and Joel Matip missed Liverpool’s pre-season friendly with Napoli last week due to injury, and Dejan Lovren is not yet expected to make his return following his exploits at Russia 2018, where he reached the final with national side Croatia.

“Joel, we’ll have to see. Klavan, shouldn’t be too serious, but if Tuesday is too early I don’t know yet,” said Klopp. “Maybe we will do some magic things with the formation on Tuesday. I don’t know how we will do it.”

“Dejan didn’t train so far. He probably won’t play Tuesday and Sunday will be very difficult as well.

“The first two league games at least are in the ‘pre-season’ [for the World Cup players].”

Photos: Getty