Gary Neville believes that Liverpool will finish above Spurs this season and believes a lack of European commitments will assist this.
Last season, Liverpool played 63 games in all competitions. That is a crazy amount of football to play, especially when you consider the lack of real quality that there was within what was a fairly large squad.
This season, Jurgen Klopp’s side only have domestic tournaments to contend with and the resting period between each game allows for the German manager to field fresh and energetic teams where his competitors might struggle to do so even with comparatively larger squads.
If you look at Tottenham, you’ll find an example of a team struggling to cope with the added pressure of having Champions League football on top of their domestic engagements. Mauricio Pochettino’s side is winless in five and have a difficult week ahead with the visit of Bayer Leverkusen and a trip to the Emirates to face city rivals Arsenal.
This juggling of priorities is something that Pochettino, one of the brightest coaching talents in European football, is having to figure out. Klopp on the other hand, while being more experienced, doesn’t need to contend with the inner battle of which tournament to prioritise and as a result, his Liverpool side is soaring and have only dropped seven points in 10 games.
Gary Neville, speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast, spoke about how he believes that Liverpool and Chelsea both have the advantage of less fixtures and more rest between games and that this will allow Liverpool to finish above Spurs.
“Liverpool are the same [as Chelsea], they have players who give huge energetic performances. Their recovery between games is important.
“It will be an advantage. I think Tottenham are as good as Liverpool, I think Tottenham are as good as Chelsea, there’s no doubt, but because Spurs are in European competition I would put Chelsea and Liverpool ahead of them in the Premier League for that reason.”
I must say, though, Liverpool won’t finish above Spurs purely because the London club is overly-committed this season. Jurgen Klopp is working on a team that can rival any in England and once Liverpool make it into the Champions League for next season (as we will because this is our year) then it will become clear to all how good this side actually is.