Jurgen Klopp delivers Arsenal verdict that may surprise Chelsea fans ahead of Liverpool clash

Jurgen Klopp has backed Arsenal to mount a challenge towards the top of the Premier League table under Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners finished eighth last season as Arteta replaced Unai Emery, but clear signs of progression have been made under the former Manchester City assistant.

Liverpool finished 18 points clear at the top of the table to secure their first Premier League crown, but Klopp is expecting five teams to put up a tougher fight this time around – with Arsenal being one of them.

The Reds boss said he didn’t believe the Gunners were the eighth best side last term and that this season’s European inclusion is a boost for title rivals.

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Arsenal travel to Anfield on Monday night for their toughest test of the season so far, but without a raucous home support awaiting them, it could play into Arteta’s hands.

Klopp was asked whether the unusual conditions following the coronavirus outbreak gives other teams a better chance of winning the title.

“I don’t think Arsenal are a very good example because last year they came eighth but didn’t have enough time to sort out the situation but, in my opinion, they were not the eighth best team in the league,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

“I think they would have qualified easily for a Europa League spot, if not, pip Chelsea.

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“That is good news they have the midweek European games as well because otherwise with the quality they have would have an advantage with different situations.

“The Premier League and these teams with what they do is too much and too good that the season isn’t decided before it is started, so it doesn’t just work like this.”

He added: “When we face them we want to beat them, that’s all we can do, but, yes often it is an open race.

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