Rafael Benítez: Premier League wide open

18 September 2009 04:14
The Spaniard has identified Manchester City and Aston Villa as realistic contenders to dethrone champions Manchester United or replace Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea in the Champions League spots, although he perhaps surprisingly omitted mentioning Tottenham among those sides he sees as rivals.

'There are a lot of good teams in the division now,' the Liverpool manager said. 'It will be more difficult for all of the teams to win games and maybe everyone will lose more this season than before.

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'I cannot say how many points you will need to win the title at this stage, because it is so early. But it will be more difficult for everyone.'

Tomorrow's evening trip to West Ham the first game held at Upton Park since the crowd trouble which marred Gianfranco Zola's side's Carling Cup win over Millwall represents a chance for Liverpool to remind their rivals of their own title credentials, especially with four of those sides facing each other.

Tottenham, currently joint second with the two Manchester clubs, travel to Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, just hours after City and United have clashed at Old Trafford.

'It will be the same throughout the season,' said Benitez, 'with difficult games for all of the teams. But all we can think about is our own game and making sure we do our job. We cannot influence any of the other games or what happens in them. We are only concerned with making sure we do what we can.

'West Ham will be very tough, we know that, and probably not the same as the 3-0 win we got at Upton Park last year, when we scored very early. They are a good team, a difficult team, with a good manager who has a strong idea of how he wants to play football.'


Source: Telegraph

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