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It became a two-horse race: Jurgen Klopp on Premier League 2018-19


ANI Football
Ahead of the FA Cup match against Manchester City this coming week, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that the Premier League 2018-19 season became a two-horse race between Manchester City and Liverpool.
City were able to win the Premier League 208/19 as they edged out Liverpool by just one point after completion of 38 group games. City finished with 98 points whereas Liverpool finished with 97.
"It became a two-horse race last year, but unfortunately there are too many good clubs in this competition. I think even City see it like this. They are the big favourite, and all the others try to beat them - and we are one of these teams. At least we should give it a try, but we have to play better football, and we will play better football, I know," quoted Klopp as saying.
The Champions League winners Liverpool suffered a 3-0 loss to Napoli in a friendly match ahead of the 2019-20 season, but the team were without their star players such as Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane, Robert Firmino.
These players are expected to be back to take part in the FA Cup and Klopp said that the team will be a different animal when these players join the team.
"Missing six players is strange. That you lose players during a pre-season, we are used to - that happened from time to time. But that they don't start from the beginning and come a couple of days before or after we start with the season is not cool. Again, that's how it is and we prepared everybody as good as possible," Klopp said.
"We have to fight the start of the season 100 per cent with all we have. The good thing is, if the opponents want to analyse us now, they think 'easy job', but we will be a different animal next week," he added.
Liverpool have conceded 10 goals in their last four friendly matches and will next take on Lyon in their final friendly match ahead of the 2019/20 season.
"I think the worst thing that could have happened is if we had won all the games without the six players - 4-0 or 5-0 against Napoli and Sevilla, then everybody would be flying from last year and into the new season, then getting the problems in the season. That would have been the worst thing," Klopp said.
"But between the worst thing and that now would have been a few levels I would have preferred. I knew before we started that it would be exceptionally difficult because of the situation. We have to adapt to a few things and we have to create a specific spirit. For this, we have a week's time," he added.
Liverpool will take on Manchester City in the FA Cup on August 4 and the team will then take on Norwich City in their opening match of the Premier League on August 12.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 10:06 AM IST

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