Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says there is “absolutely nothing” in the apparent “rivalry” between himself and Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.
The Reds won the Premier League title by 18 points last campaign and started off this term with a 4-3 victory over Leeds at Anfield last weekend.
And Klopp is prepared for the challenge that will come from a number of teams trying to stop them from retaining their crown.
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“It’s completely normal that we have to make another step because other teams will make other steps as well,” Klopp told Sky Sports News.
“It has nothing to do with being champions, we constantly try to develop and find solutions to the new challenges before we have the problems with them. That’s how football works.
“So it’s not only about changing things it’s about finding the right approach and plan again for this season.”
Next up for Liverpool is Chelsea on Sunday when they travel to Stamford Bridge in the second Premier League match of the season.
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There has been a ‘rivalry’ building between Klopp and Lampard in the media over the last month or two, with the Chelsea boss branding Klopp’s criticism of Chelsea’s spending ‘amusing’.
They also clashed on the touchline in the Red’s 5-3 victory over Chelsea back in July to mark their Premier League trophy presentation.
Lampard warned Liverpool and Klopp not to get “too arrogant” in the aftermath but the German insists there is no rivalry.
Klopp added: “Between Frank (Lampard) and me there is absolutely nothing – I admired him and loved him as a player and now he is doing a really good job as a coach.
“So I can’t help you with some ‘rivalry’ between us, we will obviously be rivals on Sunday but apart from that it’s all good.
“We are different clubs, leading in a different way, that’s how it is – we invest what we earn and sometimes we invest before we earn but it’s still based on these kind of things and it’s not like this for other clubs.
“Whatever they do though I am completely fine with that – they can all do what they want and it’s a free world. We have our way of dealing with the club.”
On Chelsea, Klopp added: “There’s plenty of threats, they’ve signed really well and already had an unbelievably good team,” added Klopp. “We had to suffer a lot against them in the games last season.
“Christian Pulisic obviously wasn’t involved but he’ll probably be fit for the game, Mason Mount and I know Kai Havertz from the Bundesliga – he will play a proper role this season.
“There’s so many good players up front, in midfield, the defensive line and the full-backs – there’s not a biggest threat, Chelsea themselves are the threat – that’s how it is in football.”