Paul Stewart column: Liverpool are the likeliest challengers to Manchester City

Liverpool v Manchester United- Philippe Coutinho is fouled in the box

Liverpool will be looking to avoid last season's 12 (7 at Anfield) in the league.

And his next comment has already led to backlash from Manchester United fans on social media after Mourinho said finishing behind City wasn't such a bad thing....

"I am not confident, and the market closes today, so it's time, at least for me, to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed".

After Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-1 on Friday evening in the opening match of the 2018-19 Premier League, Saturday will see a possible title contender Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea take on Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town respectively.

I think that they will be the ones who push City all the way and I don't expect Guardiola's champions to run away with it as easily as they did last season, when the title race was nearly done and dusted by Christmas.

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With Chelsea and Arsenal both beginning years with new managers and huge questions marks over what comes next, not spending buckets of cash on new players isn't such a bad thing - both United and Tottenham are expected and expect of themselves to be in the top 4, maybe even compete for the titles. "We want more, we need to work a little bit more to get a win".

"I think a year ago was my best season so far". Liverpool hit its stride toward the end of last season and then reportedly spent the most money of any English club in the off-season, bringing in goalkeeper Alisson Becker and midfielders Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri.

The new rule to shut the window before the start of the league from the earlier date of August 31 meant that the English clubs had to complete all their deals 20 days before their Spanish, French and German counterparts.

'We can not make the mistake of thinking that the next time it will be easier. "We are highly motivated to play in the Premier League". However, the fixture list has not been kind, with the visit of champions City on Sunday followed by a trip to Chelsea. Martial in the last 20 minutes could have given us the second goal but I couldn't make that change.

"If we don't make our team better it will be a hard season for us", Mourinho warned earlier this week, so far to no avail ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline.

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