The upcoming Premier League season is shaping up to be as open and unpredictable as any before it, particularly in terms of which team will provide the strongest challenge to reigning champions Manchester City.
Whilst the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea have struggled to recruit new signings, Liverpool and Arsenal have swiftly gone about their business and made a host of signings to address their respective areas of weakness in their teams.
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Manchester City have not had the easiest of tasks in conducting their business, despite the £60m signing of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester, the champions did miss out on the signing of Jorginho to Chelsea. For City boss Pep Guardiola, it is big-spending Liverpool who will pose the biggest threat.
City’s official Twitter account shared the thoughts of Guardiola on the upcoming Premier League season, as the former Barcelona boss argued: “Liverpool are always contenders to win the title. With the history they have, they are always a contender.”
Guardiola’s referencing of Liverpool’s history as a key element in their title credentials perhaps does not do justice to the modernised reinforcement of Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The signings of Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson over the past six months have added a plethora of top talent to a side which reached the Champions League final and secured a top four finish last season, having not won a league title since 1990.
Whilst Liverpool’s history and stature props the Reds up as a long-standing force, Jurgen Klopp has taken his side from strength to strength in more recent times, and the expensively orchestrated strengthening of the squad this summer is likely to see Guardiola proven correct on the likelihood of Liverpool pushing for City’s crown.
Klopp’s men beat City 4-3 at Anfield in the Premier League last term and, although they lost the reverse fixture 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium, Liverpool were one of only two teams to beat the champions in the league and sent Guardiola’s side crashing out of the Champions League with an emphatic 5-1 victory on aggregate.
Liverpool have already proved that they are the side most capable of taking the game to City, and with the level of reinforcements which have been made at Anfield ahead of the upcoming campaign, Klopp’s side will surely come again as an even stronger force.