Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted the Premier League will not be just a two-horse race this season.
The Reds kick off the 2019/20 Premier League campaign against newly-promoted Norwich City on Friday evening looking to go one better than last season.
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- The 2019/20 Premier League season kicks off on Friday when Liverpool face Norwich City.
- Liverpool finished runners-up to Manchester City last season.
- The pair are expected to be the only two sides capable of winning the title this season.
- Third-placed Chelsea finished 25 points behind Liverpool, showing the gap in the league.
- But Klopp believes the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton can also contend for the title.
Liverpool finished just one point behind Manchester City at the top of the Premier League last season, amassing 97 points – the highest tally of any team not to win the title and the third-highest in the competition’s history overall.
Klopp’s side finished 25 points clear of third-placed Chelsea and, as such, many believe the title race to be between Liverpool and Man City once again.
But Klopp has refused to rule out the likes of Chelsea, who have had to endure a transfer ban, and even rivals Everton.
“I’d say there are at least six teams in contention,” he told Sky Sports.
“Everton, for example, have tried to stay very ambitious. They have done a lot and I think there are still maybe a couple of players to come in. They had a good team last year and they have improved, with very interesting signings.
“I don’t know where people get the idea that Arsenal will not challenge, that Chelsea will not challenge with Frank [Lampard] bringing complete excitement to the club.
“Okay, they cannot really be busy in the transfer window, but after years when all the young boys were on loan, now they finally bring them back and get the benefit of that. It’s like it’s made for a transfer ban.
“Now [Tammy] Abraham and all these other guys come back and it’s a fantastic team.”
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Liverpool not guaranteed to match last season’s levels
As well as playing up the competitiveness of the upcoming Premier League season and teams outside of Liverpool and Manchester City, Klopp was keen to manage fan expectations.
The past three seasons have seen Liverpool improve remarkably, following an eighth-placed finish with back-to-back fourth places and runners up.
Last season also saw Liverpool and City create a league of their own, well above the rest of their opponents. But Klopp insists his side are not guaranteed to reach that level again.
“We have to evolve because the situation around us is always changing,” he added.
“You cannot go to another club and just do what you want to do without thinking for a second about what they do. Your tactics can influence your opponents’ game, and that means their tactics can influence your game.
“We had to improve last season and we did. That was very important, staying patient in stressful moments, staying convinced about what we are doing and all that stuff.
“There are a lot of things we can still improve, but first and foremost, we need to reach that level again. That’s not guaranteed. You can’t just switch on and say you will do it.”