Chelsea boss Frank Lampard hits back at Jurgen Klopp and makes Liverpool title claim
Liverpool are guaranteed to be top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has already moved to dampen the expectations placed on his players.
The German, whose side have since beaten Wolves, Tottenham and Crystal Palace by a combined scoreline of 13-1, plus drawn 1-1 with both FC Midtjylland and Fulham, won the title last season.
But with a number of injuries in key areas early on in the campaign, he had suggested that Frank Lampard’s Chelsea should instead be favourites after they big transfer spend in the summer.
“If I watch football games at the moment then Chelsea, for me, look like favourites,” Klopp said a fortnight ago.
“They have the biggest squad, great players playing well together after a rusty start – and they are full-on.
“They have unbelievable opportunities to change in games and make changes from one game to the other – so that is it.”
But the Chelsea boss has hit back at those claims, seeking to relieve the pressure on his players as the mind games continue.
“The realism is we are not a Liverpool of last year or a Manchester City of the year before where you can just go out and win, win, win, win, win,” Lampard told a press conference this week.
“In periods, you have to be ready for some tough moments.
“Everyone was talking about us going on a great run and we should win the league.
“Part of my reasoning to dampen that was other teams have probably been together longer and built for longer which builds confidence within the group of players that they can deal with things better in games.
“Liverpool in their period now, they looked like an absolute machine last year, but there would have moments that they would have gone through over those four or so years as a club where they would have looked at themselves.”
Chelsea, who Liverpool do not face again until March, play West Ham United on Monday night at Stamford Bridge.
Should they win that game, they would be five points behind Liverpool in the league standings with both sides having played 14 games.