European absence no big advantage – Klopp

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Jurgen Klopp has played down the advantages of Liverpool’s absence from Europe this season as they seek to become champions of England for the first time since 1990.

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Liverpool are currently level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table and, along with fourth-placed Chelsea, will not have to play any Champions League or Europa League football this season.

Leicester City won the league last season after a campaign in which they did not play in Europe and exited both domestic cup competitions early, but Klopp highlighted the fact that the vast majority of title-winning sides across the continent also play in the Champions League.

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“I’m not sure but 80 percent to 90 percent [of the time] in Europe, the team that is champion is playing in the Champions League,” Klopp said. “Why is that? Ah, because they have quality! Right, because they play good football, they can rotate and rest whenever.

“It’s not too cool when you’re not successful but when you are successful, you take it to the next game, you have a possibility to rotate and all that stuff because you have a big squad — we cannot rotate that much.

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“It’s different things. Sometimes it is an advantage [not having Europe] but why so often does a team win the league with all these intense games in midweek? Maybe you’ll find an answer for this.”

Liverpool have already faced Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester United in their 10 league games so far, but Klopp dismissed the idea that successfully coming through such a tough start was a sign of champions.

“I have no idea, it’s my first proper season in the Premier League,” he said. “I have no idea what to do to win the Premier League, but I’m really sure it was never decided at the end of October. We feel good at the moment, that’s all.”

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