Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Premier League champions Manchester City are the best team in Europe.
Klopp made this known in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League clash with Italian Serie A giants Napoli.
The reigning European champions start their campaign with a tricky away fixture at Napoli.
Liverpool won the Champions League last season by beating North London club Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League Derby.
The Reds beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 courtesy the goals from Mohamed Salah (penalty) and second-half substitute Divock Origi either side of the halftime interval.
It was the sixth European title for Liverpool and a first one for Jurgen Klopp.
Despite their status as the reigning European champions, Klopp believes that Manchester City have the best squad ahead of the resumption of the group stage.
Liverpool met with Napoli last season at the same stage of the competition.
The Reds were beaten 1-0 by Napoli courtesy the last-minute strike from Italian international winger Lorenzo Insigne before Sadio Mane scored the lone goal of the game to give Liverpool a 1-0 victory over the Italians and also send them through to the round of 16 as a result.
Liverpool went on to see off Bayern Munich, FC Porto and Barcelona before their final clash with Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal Handed Major Injury Blow In Champions League Chase
Premier League giants Arsenal have been rocked by the news that combative midfielder Lucas Torreira might have played his last game for the club this season after the serious ankle injury sustained by him last week.
Lucas Torreira was stretchered off last week Monday during the FA Cup fifth round tie at English League One club Portsmouth. The Uruguayan international suffered an ankle injury in the first half of that game and that injury has ended his season after the medical update from Arsenal earlier on Monday.
The player has been ruled out for up to eight to ten weeks as a result of the serious ankle injury sustained during that Portsmouth game at Fratton Park last week Monday.
Without Lucas Torreira, Arsenal were able to secure a place in the quarterfinals of the competition via the 2-0 win over Portsmouth courtesy the goals from Sokratis Papasthathopoulos and Eddie Nketiah.
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Arsenal will now travel to face Sheffield United in the quarterfinals of the competition. The winner of that last-eight tie will qualify for the semifinals.
Lucas Torreira will miss the remaining league games for Arsenal this season starting from the trip to face outgoing champions Manchester City on Wednesday night as the Gunners fight for a spot in the Champions League next season.
Arsenal have ten games to play in the Premier League this term as they try to make up the points on the leading pack for Champions League football.
Fourth and fifth spots would be enough for Champions League football next season. Arsenal is eight points off Chelsea in fourth position and five points off Manchester United in fifth spot having played one less game than both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Arsenal will play that outstanding game later this week in what’s a tough game at Premier League champions Manchester City.
Top Five Favourite Clubs To Win Champions League Title
Champions League football is back in the coming days as 16 teams begin the long and hard journey to find out who will succeed Premier League giants Liverpool at the end of the competition.
Liverpool are the team to beat after their Champions League triumph in Madrid last season and they could still retain the title.
The Reds beat fellow last 16 recipient Tottenham Hotspur in the final last term.
The defending champions have been drawn alongside tough customers Atletico Madrid who have reached the final in two of the last five editions. On their part, Tottenham Hotspur have been drawn with German Bundesliga highflyers RB Leipzig who were at the top of the table before Bayern Munich knocked them off the summit last weekend.
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Liverpool are definitely one of the top five favourites to win this season’s edition of the competition alongside four others to be revealed as follows:
The Reds are clearly the team to beat this season after maintaining their sensational form from the second half of last season. The Reds have won all but one of their league games plus recording just one loss with the first team all season.
2. Manchester City
The outgoing Premier League champions have not been at the races this season in the Premier League as they have struggled to maintain their great record from the last campaign. Liverpool have all but wrapped up the league title in England and that could give Manchester City the impetus to concentrate more on the Champions League.
The Italian Serie A champions are one of the top five favourites to win the Champions League title and they have the competition’s leading goalscorer in Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Messi factor will always make Barcelona one of the favourites for the competition.
5. Real Madrid
They are the most successful team in the history of the competition with 13 titles but they have a tricky last 16 tie with Manchester City to navigate if they are to make it 14 title wins.
Champions League: Liverpool, Chelsea Set To Discover Last 16 Opponents
Four English Clubs namely Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will find out their opponents in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League after the teams scaled through the group stage which ended on Wednesday night.
The Champions League last 16 draw will take place on Monday afternoon.
Liverpool are the defending champions and they finished as Group E winners ahead of fellow qualifiers Napoli, Red Bull Salzburg, and Genk.
The Reds can only face teams outside England as well as those that finished in second place in the last 16.
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Potential opponents for Liverpool include Real Madrid, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and Zenit St. Petersburg.
For Chelsea, they finished as runners-up in Group H behind Spanish La Liga club Valencia and ahead of Ajax Amsterdam and Lille.
The Blues can only face the group winners that are not from the Premier League and their possible opponents include French champions Paris Saint Germain (PSG), German champions Bayern Munich, Italian champions Juventus, Spanish champions Barcelona and German Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig.
Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are the other Premier League clubs in the Champions League and they finished as Group C winners and Group B runners-up respectively to book their last 16 spot.
Mourinho Suffers First Champions League Defeat At Spurs
New Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has been beaten for the first time in the Champions League following the defeat at the hands of German champions Bayern Munich in their Matchday Six clash at the Allianz Arena.
Mourinho and his Spurs players were beaten 3-1 by the Bavarian giants who were the only team to finish the group stage campaign with an unblemished record.
Bayern Munich won all their six group games in Group B and amassed a complete total of 18 points as a result.
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The Germans were given a helping hand due to the fact that Ex-Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho rested a lot of his first-team players with both clubs already through to the last 16 stage of the competition.
Bayern took the lead through Kingsley Coman in the 20th minute before summer signing Ryan Sessegnon equalized for Spurs just before the end of the first half.
Experienced campaigner Thomas Mueller came off the bench for the injured Coman and he was responsible for the second Bayern goal as he prodded home from close range after Alphonso Davies had struck the post.
Ex-Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho wrapped up the victory for his team with the third goal to ensure that Bayern made it six wins from six Group B games.
Chelsea Opponents For Champions League Knockout Stage Revealed
One-time Champions League winners Chelsea have discovered their possible opponents for the knockout stage of the competition which starts as from next year.
The Champions League group stage for the 2019/20 season was concluded on Wednesday night and Chelsea have found out about the pool of teams they could dace in the round of 16.
Chelsea are in danger of facing one of the favorites for this season’s Champions League title after they finished second in Group H behind Spanish La Liga giants Valencia.
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The Blues secured their place in the knockout stage with the slim 2-1 win at home to French club Lille in their final group game.
Topscorer Tammy Abraham scored the first goal of the game to take his tally to 13 goals in all competitions this season before club skipper Cesar Azpilicueta added a second goal with ten minutes left on the clock.
Former player Loic Remy halved the deficit on 78 minutes to setup a grandstand finish but Chelsea held on to take the points and secure their place in the knockout stage.
Chelsea can face the likes of Paris Saint Germain (PSG), Bayern Munich, Juventus, Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona and German Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig in the last 16 of the competition.
Liverpool Opponents For Champions League Knockout Stage Revealed
The possible knockout stage opponents for Champions League holders Liverpool have been revealed after the conclusion of the group stage.
Matches over the eight groups have been concluded on Wednesday night in the Champions League and 16 teams have emerged from 32 teams for the next stage (round of 16).
Champions League holders Liverpool are one of the 16 teams in the knockout stage of the competition this season after the Reds finished as the top team in Group E ahead of Napoli, Red Bull Salzburg, and Genk.
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Liverpool sealed their place in the next round with the 2-0 away win over Austrian Bundesliga champions Red Bull Salzburg courtesy the goals Naby Keita and star forward Mohamed Salah in the second half.
The reigning European champions needed just one point to be assured of a last 16 spot before the Red Bull Salzburg game.
Liverpool have the possibility of meeting five teams in the round of 16.
The Reds can meet the likes of immediate past champions Real Madrid, debutants Atalanta, Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid, German Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund and French Ligue 1 club Lyon in the last 16 stage of the Champions League.
Liverpool won the Champions League title last season via the 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in their final clash.
Champions League: Chelsea Defender Ruled Out Of Lille Clash
The recently capped England international will miss the Lille game according to his manager Frank Lampard.
His absence for the crucial Champions League clash with Lille in Group H was confirmed by Chelsea manager Frank Lampard during his pre-match press conference on Monday ahead of the game.
Fikayo Tomori is said to have a slight injury problem and that he will be fit for the Premier League game at home to Bournemouth at the weekend.
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The Chelsea defender has been troubled by a hip injury in recent days and that led to his omission from the Blues starting XI for the Everton game in the Premier League at the weekend.
Fikayo Tomori has forged a potent center-back partnership with Kurt Zouma at the heart of the Chelsea defence and he was sorely missed during the Everton game which ended in a 3-1 defeat for his team.
His spot in the starting XI was taken by Danish international Andreas Christensen, and he is expected to continue to surprise him in the Lille game which Chelsea must win to confirm their place in the knockout stage.
Liverpool Star Ruled Out Of Champions League Clash With Salzburg
Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana will miss the all-important Champions League trip to Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday night.
The England international was ruled out by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp who said that he has a thigh injury.
Klopp expects Adam Lallana to return to training on Thursday.
Adam Lallana has endured an injury-filled last two years at Liverpool and his latest injury wad sustained during the Merseyside Derby clash with Everton at Anfield last week.
He was one of the standout players as Liverpool thrashed their rivals 5-2 in front of their fans in the Premier League duel.
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Liverpool have not dominated the Champions League this season as they have done in the Premier League where they are almost invincible.
The Reds have dropped just two points from a possible 48 points in the Premier League this season but they have not been able to maintain the same form in the Champions League as they are struggling to qualify for the knockout stage from Group E.
Liverpool need a point in their Champions League trip to dangerous Red Bull Salzburg to seal their place in the last 16 of the competition they won last season.
Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg need to win the game.