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Ronnie Whelan: Liverpool Football Club is back on track under Jurgen Klopp

Published 19/09/2016

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) guided the Reds to a win at Chelsea on Friday night.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) guided the Reds to a win at Chelsea on Friday night.

For the first time in many, many years, I feel like Liverpool football club is back on track. There were islands of success during the last few decades but at no stage did I think “right, this is the start of something big”.

At no stage could I see a future in which the club could even hope to keep pace with the money washing around Manchester, London, Paris, Barcelona or Madrid.

But I’m feeling that now, and it’s all down to Jurgen Klopp.

I’m not just saying this because of that fantastic win over Chelsea or the fact that Liverpool have now played all of the Top Four from last season and done well.

They’ve beaten Arsenal and Chelsea in London, hammered Leicester at Anfield and drew with Spurs at White Hart Lane.

I’m saying it because I feel that Liverpool has a manager with control of the club in every aspect.

Klopp is all over Anfield like a rash.

I talk to the young lads and they are telling me that all the Academy teams are now on message and every Liverpool team is now a Klopp team.

His transfer dealings in the summer brought Saido Mane, Joel Matip and money to the club.

How much more reassurance can a manager bring to his employers that he can be trusted with a budget than to get the players he wants and make a profit? More importantly, it was very clearly his scouting network at work in the summer and that was a big change from the last number of transfer windows, which were a disaster.

Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois jumps but fails to to save a long-range shot from Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson to score his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois jumps but fails to to save a long-range shot from Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson to score his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva (L) is hugged by Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet (L) punches the ball to make a clearance during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Eden Hazard of Chelsea battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Jordan Henderson of Liverpool celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: The Premier League trophy on display prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: a match ball sit pitchside prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: The Premier League trophy on display prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: The Premier League trophy on display prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: The Premier League trophy on display prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: A general view outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: A general view outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: A general view of the stadium reflected in a puddle prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

On the pitch, I didn’t quite have the full picture of what he is about with the players he is working with until the second half at Stamford Bridge when I saw a Liverpool team deal comfortably with pressure when I expected exactly the opposite.

We’ve been schooled to expect the worst over many, many years and usually bad has followed good. Defeat by Burnley is the case in point this season.

But this was different. After Liverpool, quite literally, blew Chelsea away in the first half, and when Costa scored, I was bracing myself for the inevitable collapse.

Liverpool's Marko Grujic was visibily stunned by Jordan Henderson's goal against Chelsea
Liverpool's Marko Grujic was visibily stunned by Jordan Henderson's goal against Chelsea
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Nemanja Matic of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte (right) gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (L) is congratulated by Chelsea's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic after scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Diego Costa (centre) scores his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool (14) celebrates with team mates Dejan Lovren as he scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Eden Hazard (left) is fouled by Liverpool's Lucas Leiva during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

But Chelsea, with their tails up and searching for an equaliser and maybe a winner, hardly troubled Simon Mignolet after they scored. Matip and Dejan Lovren took hold of Diego Costa and never gave him an inch.

At one point, I found myself sitting back in my seat and thinking that Liverpool were coping nicely and the hard core of anxiety which usually accompanies the final moments of a game poised like this one, melted away.

I felt even better when I saw Klopp in the same kind of humour in the dug-out.

Antonio Conte was on the losing side for the first time as Chelsea boss
Antonio Conte was on the losing side for the first time as Chelsea boss
Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte watches his players during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool (14) celebrates with team mate Dejan Lovren as he scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Sadio Mane (left) and Chelsea's Eden Hazard battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Liverpool's Adam Lallana (left) and Chelsea's Nemanja Matic battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

Before in situations like this, he was up prowling his area, shouting and roaring.

This time he was sitting back and very obviously delighted with the work his players were doing.

They were defending from the front and kept the ball well when they had it.

Finishing touch: Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson (right) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game at Stamford Bridge
Finishing touch: Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson (right) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois throwa the ball to a teammate during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (L) runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool and David Luiz of Chelsea battle for possession during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane (C) vies with Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Oscar during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte (R) and Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) watch they play during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Dejan Lovren of Liverpool (L) shootd past Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea dives in vain as Jordan Henderson of Liverpool scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea dives in vain as Jordan Henderson of Liverpool scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

When Chelsea did break into the Liverpool half, there were bodies in front of them and a defence ready to mop up. It was very comforting football.

When Liverpool kicked off the season, I had worries about the left-full slot and the centre-half partnership.

It struck me that Klopp would need a very good defensive midfielder, but I now realise that the way he wants to play, he can get by with what he has.

Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring Liverpool's second goal of the game
Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring Liverpool's second goal of the game
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Oscar of Chelsea makes a spectacular attempt to reach the ball during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte watch thier players during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte (R) shouts at Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea reacts from the touchline during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea and Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool look on from the touchline during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva (L) stands alongside Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp as Klopp shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva (L) is hugged by Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

I’m still concerned about left-full, but I’ll take James Milner until Klopp fills the gap properly and I have to say, I think Lovern and Matip will grow together and become a solid pairing.

Once that happens it becomes less important to have a specialist holding midfielder and someone like Jordan Henderson can cover the position but still get forward the way Klopp clearly wants him to.

Klopp wants to batter teams into submission and with stability at the back, I suspect Liverpool will do that often in the next seven months.

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson (centre) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with teammates during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Liverpool's Jordan Henderson (centre) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with teammates during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Chelsea's Brazilian defender David Luiz (L) vies with Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: David Luiz of Chelsea looks on following an injury during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Gary Cahill of Chelsea reacts during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Nemanja Matic of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte (right) gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (L) is congratulated by Chelsea's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic after scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Diego Costa (centre) scores his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool (14) celebrates with team mates Dejan Lovren as he scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Eden Hazard (left) is fouled by Liverpool's Lucas Leiva during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Liverpool's Belgian striker Divock Origi (C) cies with Chelsea's Brazilian defender David Luiz (R) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Antonio Conte manager of Chelsea reacts on the touchline during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

My tip for the title is still Manchester City – if anything, that prediction has hardened.

But I now think that Liverpool will be a challenger and I must admit, I didn’t believe that four weeks ago.

David Luiz endured a tough second Chelsea debut
David Luiz endured a tough second Chelsea debut
Liverpool's Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (L) runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool and David Luiz of Chelsea battle for possession during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane (C) vies with Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Oscar during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte (R) and Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) watch they play during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Dejan Lovren of Liverpool (L) shootd past Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea dives in vain as Jordan Henderson of Liverpool scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea dives in vain as Jordan Henderson of Liverpool scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte watches his players during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool (14) celebrates with team mate Dejan Lovren as he scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Sadio Mane (left) and Chelsea's Eden Hazard battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Liverpool's Adam Lallana (left) and Chelsea's Nemanja Matic battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

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