Jordan Henderson has pointed to Liverpool’s direct domestic rivals in recent years, Manchester City, as a significant reason behind the Reds having reached their stratospheric levels in the sport.
The competition between the two outfits was epitomised particularly well by the race for the Premier League title last term as Jurgen Klopp’s men defied the odds and took it to the final day of the league season only to be pipped by a point.
“We look in good shape, so hopefully come Saturday we’re raring to go and we can get the result we want against City,” the skipper told the club’s official website.
“We have pushed each other, challenged each other and the levels we’ve got to have been amazing really. When I think about it, they have probably pipped us to a few more than what we’d have liked.
“But for us it’s just about concentrating on what we can control, and that’s our performances, our results, and hopefully this season we can have another good season again.”
A couple of cup wins was the least the Merseysiders deserved for a tremendous 63-game campaign that nearly rewarded the Champions League finalists with a historic quadruple.
Whilst we’ll be keen not to dismiss the threat posed by outfits like Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United – particularly after a solid transfer window for the opening pair – the reality of the situation is that both ourselves and the Sky Blues will be considered favourites for domestic success.
Should Pep Guardiola’s men continue to set the bar high, as we expect them to, it can only benefit Liverpool who have thrived with the competition provided by the Manchester-based side.
It’ll be a tough ask to go a couple of steps further and improve on our prior campaign given the physical and emotional toll it took on the squad, though Klopp will have nothing but full faith in his men to deliver when it counts.