Arsene Wenger has said that both Liverpool and Chelsea will benefit from a lack of European football this season.
Last season, Liverpool enjoyed a brilliantly dramatic Europa League tournament which saw the Reds lose to Sevilla in the final after beating Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal in the knockout stages. However, a combination between the club’s failure to win the tournament and a league finish outside both the Champions and Europa League places means that there will be no football abroad this season.
As Leicester proved last season this is hardly a bad thing. The champions’ direct rivals for the league all had European football to contend with and this lack of distraction could prove fruitful for either Chelsea or Liverpool according to Arsene Wenger.
Speaking at the Premier League launch, he told Sky Sports when asked about Liverpool’s chances,” Yes, they are not in the Europa League so that will be an advantage for them.”
Klopp has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t need a large squad this season as there has been a mass exodus at Anfield with deadwood being dealt with and youth players who will be deprived of game time being loaned out.
While Liverpool may not have to contend with the distraction of Europa League football again it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be plain sailing. The influx of world-class managerial talent as well as players means that the 2016/17 season will be a blockbuster of a campaign.
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Wenger continued,” That’s very difficult to predict and is one of the problems in the modern Premier League, who expected Leicester to be champions last season? Nobody.
“Today you have to take into account seven or eight teams who can win it.
“You always have a surprising team and then six or seven big clubs who have the ambition to win it.”
There are few pundits, players or fans who are giving Liverpool a chance but perhaps this will play into Klopp’s hands. As Divock Origi said to Liverpoolfc.com,“Everything is there to do great things so we always have to keep hope and keep pushing until the end and if we do this I’m convinced we can surprise people this year.”