Jurgen Klopp has said he is anticipating a “tighter” and “closer” race for the Premier League title this season.
Liverpool find themselves in second place two points behind league leaders Arsenal after 15 matches.
There have been some surprise results this campaign with reigning champions Manchester City without a win in five matches and Aston Villa sitting in third place above Pep Guardiola’s side.
Heading into this weekend’s fixtures, the top seven teams are separated by 10 points and Klopp is encouraged by the competitiveness in the league and wants Liverpool to be challenging at the end of the season.
“Usually this time of the year is where City are already 15 points ahead of the other guys who are separated by 10 points,” he told TNT Sports in an exclusive interview.
“It looks like it’s a bit tighter, a bit closer and rightly so. Everybody worked really hard in recent years to make the next steps and [with] City, what I admire most about them is how ruthless they are with all the things they’ve won over the years.
“But if you go there, you always think ‘Oh my God, this looks like it’s the most important game of their whole career for them’. I respect that a lot and they are there and will try it again but there are a lot of teams around who have made great progress and thank God we can be there as well. And, for us, that’s obviously super important.
“Let’s see where it goes to – we all need luck, especially now in this busy period that the players can go through that and we can use them.
“You have to be ready for the moment when the decisions will be made because at the moment, we’re only prepared [for] the finishing and that’s far off yet, so we have a lot of work to do before we can talk about other things.”
Liverpool could end the weekend at the top of the table if they win at Crystal Palace on Saturday – live on TNT Sports and discovery+ – and Arsenal fail to beat Aston Villa later in the day.
Not only are more teams fighting for a place in the top spots, there are more goals being scored in the league this season.
There were a total of 68 goals scored in the previous two matchdays with Liverpool involved in a thrilling 4-3 win over Fulham at Anfield on Sunday.
Klopp believes that the quality of players in the league is the reason behind the upturn in goals and that it is tough for teams to set up defensively every week.
“I’m not sure if that’s a conscious decision by everybody [in] thinking let’s just score goals this year, it’s just the quality of the players, that’s how it is,” Klopp added.
“Against a constant pressure you cannot defend. You can defend for one game maybe but not the second where you are constantly under pressure.
“Everybody has moments for different reasons with very dominant football and counter-attacking football [and] set-pieces. This league is incredible, I have to say. I was watching last night and it’s so competitive, it’s so tough.
“If you are a little bit off the gas then the opponent will punish you immediately. I’ve never been in a position to just watch it because we are in the middle of it – the chaos, the whirlwind – it’s a joy and the Premier League is delivering.
“I think the last matchday was insane with 4-3, 4-3, 5-0 with goals galore.
“I watched Match of the Day and I thought wow, this must be the most-watched TV show in the world because you saw 500 goals so it was really cool and especially if you are on the right side of the result. 4-3 is a wonderful result if you win it and if you lose it, it’s exactly the opposite.”
TNT Sports will show live coverage of Liverpool’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday, December 9.
How to watch Crystal Palace v Liverpool on TNT Sports
TNT Sports is available across all major TV platforms, offering a line-up of up to four TV channels (TNT Sports 1, TNT Sports 2, TNT Sports 3, TNT Sports 4), and up to six digital or red-button channels (TNT Sports 5 to 10), and TNT Sports Ultimate plus TNT Sports Box Office HD.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool will be live on TNT Sports 1 and TNT Sports Ultimate with coverage from 11:00 on Saturday, December 9 ahead of kick-off at 12:30.
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