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Jurgen Klopp believes eight clubs are currently in the race for the Premier League title and admitted that the Reds retaining thecrown would arguably top their achievement last season.
Despite having not taken to the field for the best part of a fortnight, the November international break has proven expensive for Klopp, with Joe Gomez the latest defender to join a lengthy injury list headed up by Virgil van Dijk, while Mohamed Salah is returning to the UK after testing positive for Covid-19 on duty with Egypt.
Coupled with a frequently off-the-wall start to a new campaign that has thrown up some madcap results - including a 7-2 drubbing by Aston Villa - the Reds find themselves in a much more competitive fight to finish first than initially expected.
Speaking with former Merseyside favourite Jamie Redknapp, Klopp has acknowledged that the opening months have suggested a wider race than ever before to be crowned champions of England, with the former Borussia Dortmund bossforeseeing over half-a-dozen contenders in the mix.
"I think there could be up to eight", the German responded in the Mailwhen asked on how many clubs he saw jostling for the title. "An open race? I have no problem with that. That's absolute fine."
Klopp admitted that he was finding himself hard-pressed to care about matching the achievements of last season amid the Reds' run of bad injury luck, adding that he felt a triple-digit points haul is likely well beyond any side in the competition already.
"I'm sorry to say this but I couldn't care less in this moment," the 53-year-old acknowledged on the likelihood of an impressive final total for the winning club. "It doesn’t look like somebody will get 100 or whatever. In this season? Four weeks shorter? Same amount of games? I don’t think it’s possible. Even 87 looks far away."
Klopp did however speculate on the potential for another triumph, adding: "But if we were to win it this year it would be a big achievement to be honest. Maybe a bigger one than last season.That’s what I love about the Premier League: there are so many contenders.