Is This Season Set to be the Most Exciting Title Race in Living Memory?
During Jürgen Klopp’s tenure at Anfield, the jovial German has had a tendency to up the ante and go one better each season. This was highlighted when Liverpool rallied from their Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in 2018 and went on to win the competition in style the following year. After barely putting a foot wrong in the Premier League last time out, the Reds are now arguably in pole position to top the pile this term. However, they are likely to face stiff competition in what could be a highly exhilarating title race.
Pressure is off on Klopp and Liverpool
Liverpool have been under pressure for some time to end their painfully long top-flight title drought, which has stretched from 1990 through the entirety of the Premier League era. There is still a certain amount of weight on the shoulders of the players at Anfield along with Klopp but because they just took home the ultimate prize in Europe and only narrowly missed out on the league last term, the fans are likely to be fairly content going into the new season.
Manchester City have dominated the domestic scene with two league wins, two EFL Cup wins, and one FA Cup win since Pep Guardiola entered the hot seat at the Etihad Stadium, but the two-time Champions League-winning manager is under increasing pressure to bring the much-coveted European trophy to the blue half of Manchester for the first time ever. The Spaniard has said that he won’t let his focus on the league slip in search of European riches but there is a sense that the Abu Dhabi United Group who own the club will only wait so long before letting another elite manager have a crack at it.
For this reason, Guardiola may decide to rest some of his key players in top-flight games when it comes to the business end of the European campaign. That being said, Jose Mourinho quite rightly pointed out that the City B team could easily have a crack at winning the division as well. Liverpool can be pleased with the fact that they were only beaten on one occasion last season, but they need to work on finishing off teams and avoiding draws.
While Klopp decided that his side was strong enough and neglected to make any significant additions in the summer transfer window, Tottenham Hotspur got busy for the first time since January 2018. With the signings of Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon, and Giovani Lo Celso, Mauricio Pochettino has managed to strengthen his squad in important areas. Harry Kane is back from injury as well, and the sharpshooting England striker is looking to make up for lost time. He scored a brace in the opening fixture against Aston Villa and there are likely to be many more to come.
Manchester United could be dark horses in this season’s race, and the rivals of both City and Liverpool would add a lot of spice to proceedings if they manage to keep up the pace. With Anthony Martial back in favour operating as a centre forward and Harry Maguire brought in to shore up the defence, the Red Devils look like a more efficient unit. The Old Trafford outfit steamrolled Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 in the opening fixture and were somewhat reminiscent of the formidable force of old.
This is indeed shaping up to be an exciting title race, with numerous contenders for the ultimate prize. With Liverpool still on a high from their sixth Champions League win, Klopp’s charges are going to take some stopping. This could finally be their chance to top the domestic pile for the first time in thirty years.
Written by Alan Spencer
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