Shay Given believes Liverpool not featuring in the UEFA Champions League could benefit them in the title race with Manchester City.
Over the past few seasons, Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost the Premier League title by a solitary point to the Cityzens. They are the only team apart from Guardiola’s side to win the Premier League in the last six seasons (2019-20).
Last season, however, the Reds were unfortunate, finishing fifth in the league and only managing to qualify for the UEFA Europa League.
But according to Given, this could help them challenge Manchester City for the title once again.The former Newcastle United and Sky Blues goalkeeper wrote in his BBC column:
“Liverpool won’t like being in the Europa League but it will help them challenge City, because their midweek games will not be as demanding as Champions League matches are.
“I am not saying the Europa League is easy, but the facts are the teams are not as good, and it means Klopp will be able to rotate his squad.”
Klopp’s Liverpool beat LASK Linz in their Europa League opener on Thursday (21 September) by a 3-1 scoreline.
The German manager made several changes to his team which included leaving Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Andy Robertson and Alisson Becker from his starting XI.
The Reds are expected to qualify from Group E, which also contains French side Toulouse and Belgian outfit Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.
Manchester City, meanwhile, would hardly have complaints about being pooled with RB Leipzig, Crvena Zvezda and Young Boys in their Champions League group.
The defending champions won their Champions League group-stage opener against the Serbian side by a 3-1 margin at the Etihad.