There is no doubt that Liverpool experienced a satisfactory season in 2016/17 under boss Jürgen Klopp. While many Reds fans were disappointed to see a bad spell after Christmas disrupt their title bid, the recovery to grab a Champions League spot was well deserved.
The only potential fly in the ointment may be the effect that playing in Europe may have on the club’s Premier League title bid in 2017/18. With many teams before them finding this a tricky task, can Klopp use his managerial know-how to avoid any problems?
Premier League title shot next season
After a relatively strong campaign this year, many Reds fans are expecting a serious challenge for the Premier League next time around. Let’s be clear – having never won the title since the Premier League’s inception, it will be no easy task. Many, however, believe the club capable of it due to the style and power that Klopp has them playing with and also the reinforcements that he is bringing into the club, such as Mohamed Salah from Roma.
If Klopp can add more quality like this to his squad, it will allow him the strength in depth to have a serious attempt at the Premier League crown. As previously mentioned though, the burden of the extra fixtures and fatigue that playing in Europe brings may have an adverse effect that could damage these title hopes.
The benefits of playing in the Champions League
Let’s be clear – it’s not all doom and gloom getting into the top European competition in the world! It’s great for the fans as they have the kudos of their club being in it and can watch some great games with a chance of seeing their team claim the biggest trophy there is. It’s also brilliant for the club as they will scoop up millions in extra revenue to invest in the team and stadium.
Lastly, it’s great for Klopp and his transfer plans over the summer. As the Liverpool Echo notes, qualification for the Champions League makes the Reds a more attractive club for the big-name players that they will looking to buy.
Drawbacks of playing in the Champions League
As Leicester found out to their cost last season, getting into the Champions League is not always an easy ride. The major factor that they found and Liverpool face is the negative affect that it can have on league form at home. With Liverpool hoping to challenge for the Premier League next year, Klopp will have to be on his game to make sure that this doesn’t happen to them.
It’s not just in the English league that this effect is seen though. As shown at 888sport, teams such as Atlético Madrid suffered at home last season from being involved in the Champions League.
Playing midweek in the Champions League and then the same weekend in the Premier League is certainly a challenge for Liverpool to conquer next season. With the passion and expertise of manager Klopp at the helm though, it is one that many fans will be confident they can face.