Friday, May 24, 2019

Redknapp expects more twists as under-pressure Liverpool seek to end title drought

SoccerNews in English Premier League 23 Feb 2019

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Former Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp believes the Reds are coping well with the pressure of the Premier League title race but knows from experience how difficult the run-in will be.

The Reds are chasing a first top-flight championship since 1989-90 and, with 12 matches of the season left, sit level on points with leaders Manchester City with a game in hand.

However, Liverpool have passed up opportunities to pull clear of City in recent weeks, failing to capitalise on the champions’ defeat at Newcastle United as they drew at home to Leicester City, before Jurgen Klopp’s men were also held at West Ham.

Consecutive draws were followed by a win at home to Bournemouth, though, and Redknapp, who was speaking on behalf of TAG Heuer, the official timekeeping partner of the Premier League, expects further twists and turns.

“I think they’re coping well. Their record has been good as well,” Redknapp told Omnisport.

“I’ll be amazed if Liverpool don’t lose the odd game here or there in the title run-in and it’s the same with Man City. It’s impossible. These teams have got so many games ahead of them and the pressure’s on all the teams.

“I think it’s just important how you react after [losing]. Even if Liverpool lose this game on Sunday [against Manchester United], it doesn’t mean they’re not going to win the title still, it’s how you react after and make sure you pick up three points and you don’t get affected by the pressure you get put under.

“Of course there’s more pressure on Liverpool than there is on City. I don’t care what anyone says.

“I’ve been there, a captain trying to win the title for Liverpool, and it weighs heavily on your shoulders because of all the history and all the greats that have won the league title.

“It’s 29 years since they last won it and it’s very hard to take. I’m not trying to add to the pressure but that’s what it is. You’re going to have to get used to it and, if they win it once, they’ll probably do what happened with United, they’ll go and win it again.”

Redknapp does not believe it is a straight shoot-out between Liverpool and City, though, with Tottenham just five points behind the two frontrunners.

“You have to put [Spurs] in it,” he said. “If they win that game on Saturday, they’re then putting pressure on a City side that have a cup game. The games are coming thick and fast for the other teams.

“Tottenham haven’t got the FA Cup. I know they’ve got the Champions League – 3-0 up already [against Borussia Dortmund], they should be fine in that situation – and they’ve got Harry Kane coming back, Dele Alli’s not going to be far away, so you have to put them in the equation.

“There is a situation that could arise where Liverpool and Man City fight it out and put themselves under pressure and Tottenham make a late run. It’s happened before.

“But they’re obviously third favourites, the bookies will tell you that. I do think the title will be won by either City or Liverpool but if Tottenham did it wouldn’t surprise me.”

:: Jamie Redknapp was speaking on behalf of TAG Heuer, Official Timekeeping Partner of the Premier League to promote the TAG Heuer Premier League Pressure Test (http://tagheuerpressuretest.com/).

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