(Reuters) – Manchester City are closing in on their third English Premier league title in four years and Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he does not expect them to take their foot off the gas next season.
A dominant Liverpool cruised to the league title last season, but City will this weekend reclaim the crown they lost to Klopp’s side if they defeat Crystal Palace later on Saturday and Liverpool beat second-placed Manchester United on Sunday.
Klopp’s sixth-placed Liverpool have struggled due to injuries and a dip in form and are in a battle to finish in the top four, thereby securing Champions League qualification.
“It always becomes harder because Manchester City never stop. That’s clear. They didn’t stop and they’ll not stop,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.
“Two years in a row they had us on their necks. OK, for one year we were ahead of them, but we never expected that to happen for the next 10 years in a row.”
Klopp said Liverpool’s title challenge next season could get tougher with more teams challenging at the top.
“Now Manchester United are coming up. Chelsea are obviously in a brilliant place, a top squad … you can see they’re really good so it’ll not get easier,” Klopp said.
“There will be other teams for sure. Like Leicester City – brilliant manager and a top squad dealing with different situations.
“Nobody should write off Tottenham Hotspur or Arsenal. Obviously West Ham United are now flying. How can it be easier? The good thing about Manchester City is that you only meet them twice a season.”
Klopp stressed that his immediate focus was on Manchester United and winning their remaining games this season.
“We’ll give our absolute everything again next year but for now we’re concentrating on Sunday,” Klopp said.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)