Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Manchester City’s place in the Champions League next season can benefit the Anfield club as they try to retain their Premier League title.
On Monday, City successfully appealed against a two-year Uefa ban for allegedly breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, and they are now clear to compete in next season’s elite European competition alongside the Reds, rather than only having domestic football to look forward to.
“They won’t have 10 or 12 games less now, which is a relief — no other team would have had a chance in the league if they were not in Europe,” said Klopp ahead of the Reds game against Arsenal on Wednesday night.
Liverpool face the Gunners knowing defeat would end their chances of equalling Manchester City’s record 100-point haul in the Premier League set two years ago.
With three games remaining they have 93 points with City a distant second on 72.
Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal coach, says his old club City fully warrant their place in the Champions League next season.
The former assistant coach at Etihad before his move to Emirates said: “There is no question about what happened. They completely deserve to be in because what they’ve done on the pitch is unquestionable and the regulators have looked at it and have decided that they haven’t done anything wrong.
“So you have the two aspects that are really clear and transparent and they’re going to be in Champions League because they deserve [it] for what they do on the pitch and what they do outside the pitch.”
Arsenal’s five-match unbeaten run came on Sunday when they lost to north London rivals Tottenham 2-1, and Arteta admitted the loss hurt his players.
“They know what it means to everybody, they felt disappointed and that they deserved much more, but they are ready,” he said. “The games coming up are massive for us and next season, and they are willing.”
Arteta was also full of admiration of Liverpool’s achievements this season, where they won their first Premier League title in record time.
“We will need everyone recovered from the Spurs game. What Liverpool have done is phenomenal. It took them some time to rebuild the club and a game model that suited the coach and then they started to recruit a specificity in every position which completely changed the club.”
Burnley v Wolves, 9pm
Manchester City v Bournemouth, 9pm
Newcastle v Tottenham, 9pm
Arsenal v Liverpool, 11.15pm
Everton v Aston Villa, 9pm
Leicester City v Sheffield, 9pm
Crystal Palace v Manchester United, 11.15pm
Southampton v Brighton, 11.15pm
West Ham v Watford, 11pm