Jurgen Klopp thinks that the dominance of Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League will face a challenge from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea as both sides are improving.
Liverpool were in control for much of the season before eventually winning the title and ending a 30-year wait with as much as 7 games to spare, and 23 points above second-placed Manchester City who lost to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week.
This was preceded by City’s Premier League title triumph record two years ago with 100 points, and the Reds are in a good position to challenge the points record.
A year later, the title race went to the wire between the two sides with the Citizens emerging victoriously by a point, while others languished 25 points behind.
Liverpool face Manchester City at the Etihad on Thursday where they’ll be given a guard of honor by the current defending champions, and ahead of the game, Klopp has pointed out that the result won’t count as a pointer to next season’s challenge as other clubs will join the race.
“Whatever people say, it will not be important for next season because for sure we both have to be ready,” he said.
“We see United coming up. People thought they had no chance but we see with one or two players how good they are and how good they can be, and for sure they will not be worse next season, and now there is Chelsea as well.
“It will not be about City and us. For the last two years pretty much the top of the table was City and us, and City for four or five years before that.”
Manchester City struggled defensively this season and couldn’t replicate the performances of previous seasons. This is because they haven’t successfully replaced Vincent Kompany amid Aymeric Laporte’s long-term injury worries.
Veteran midfielder David Silva will leave this summer and the future of other stars in the team may lie on the outcome of the appeal against a proposed two-year ban from European competitions.
Regardless, Klopp doesn’t expect any major drop in quality in Pep Guardiola’s side.
“David Silva has never played in my team but I have loved him since he started playing football,” he said. “But if he can be replaced they have the perfect players in Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan can go in that role as well.
“They don’t lose players, they replace players. A lot of world-class players are still there and they will not stop.
“I am very, very positive about my team but I cannot deny they are really good. That was always the case, and I cannot see the end of anything for Manchester City…
“They have all the tools to be there consistently. If we have them we have to show them. I’m not interested in saying it now. I’m interested in showing it next year. It’s difficult, and it will not get easier.”