Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso says he is confident that Rafael Benitez now has the squad available to mount a serious threat to Chelsea‘s reign as Premiership champions.
The Spanish international, who this week denied reports linking him with a move to Real Madrid, says a strong start to the new campaign is vital if the Reds are going to be successful.
He said, “The Premier League and Champions League are both possible. We feel, like the fans, that this season we can give Chelsea a run for their money,” said the Spanish midfielder.
“But we have to match them from the start. They were hugely impressive in their first games last term, picking up so many points while we managed only one win in our first six.
“That was a position very hard to recover from. We must match them and get to our level from the start.
“If we can get close to them from the very beginning it will be the key to our whole season. The gap is getting closer.
“From the first season with Rafa through to the second one, that gap between us and the top has closed. We now have to do it again, to progress and show that we can fight them all the way.
“We must not lose silly games, it happened far too often. And then we lost the two games against them in the league. If you do not lose to lower teams it is much easier to stay at the top.”
The new Premiership campaign kicks off on August 19th, with Liverpool away to Sheffield United.