Jurgen Klopp expecting title race to go to the wire amid Man Utd challenge

Jurgen Klopp has admitted the title race will “go to wire” and be tougher to win than last season.

Liverpool are gunning for their 20th league title to catch up with record holders Manchester United.

But Klopp accepts that having reached no19 last summer, the battle for the next will have more ups and downs because all rivals are dropping points.

The Reds travel to Southampton on Monday following draws against Newcastle and West Brom.

And Klopp said: “I am pretty sure because it will go to the wire probably but it is tough for all of us which is the reason why it is so close.

“If you are a neutral, you will love it!

“Last season was very tough for us as well and it was not as though we thought ‘oh my god this is easy’.

“This year is tough again. I am not surprised it is that close.

“We have our situation and all the other clubs have their situation and our season is so far so good. Not more. Not less.

“We try to be ready for each game. Now Southampton will ask for different things. Then Aston Villa. Then Man United. This season is a tough one for the supporters.”

Liverpool have had to cope with injuries to star men including Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara, who made his comeback at St James’ Park.

Playmaker Thiago turned in a fine cameo and there is pressure for him to start.

However Klopp said: “He played 20 minutes for us which is special. He has only had two sessions with the team and for one of those, he was the joker.

“I am not sure you can count that but the game at Newcastle was the opportunity to do it and it was about creating, which is his best skill. We will see. He has a chance. I won’t know how he will react.

“The boys who did the job so far did exceptionally well. So it is not that we cannot survive if he does not start the next game but it is very good he is now fit and is obviously in contention. I like that a lot.”

England U21 midfielder Curtis Jones is continuing to impress the Liverpool boss, and is getting a run in the side because of injuries.

Asked if he could be an option for Gareth Southgate’s England senior squad, Klopp said: “It is a question for Southgate. He has not been with the under 21s for long.

“It is not my decision but we are happy to have him and he has a chance to play in our team.

“In the future he will play for England I am sure. But this summer, I don’t know.”

Klopp says he will only push to spend money on his injury-hit defence this month if “it makes sense.

He added: “We have solutions in the squad, but we struggled still with injuries. For most of the time with centre half position. It is a difficult transfer window as you can imagine. Not all of the clubs have real money. Doing something makes no sense. Doing the right thing makes sense. So far we have really liked what we have done.”

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