Trent Alexander-Arnold claims Liverpool must try and believe they are UNDERDOGS this season if they are to retain the Premier League… despite finishing EIGHTEEN points clear of Manchester City last season and ending the campaign on 99 points
- Liverpool host Leeds in their first Premier League game of the new season
- The Reds are aiming to become the fourth side to retain a Premier League title
- Trent Alexander-Arnold said believing they are underdogs works best for them
- The right-back also warned his Anfield team-mates of rivals’ extra motivation
Trent Alexander-Arnold has claimed his Liverpool team-mates must believe they are the underdogs in matches this season if they are to retain their Premier League crown.
The champions host newly-promoted Leeds United in their first game of the new season on Saturday and are eyeing back-to-back league titles after winning their first in 30 years in 2019/20, when they finished 18 points above second-place Manchester City.
Only three sides have won back-to-back Premier League titles, the most recent being Man City in the preceding two seasons, and the others being Manchester United and Chelsea.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has told his Liverpool they must try and believe they are underdogs
Jordan Henderson’s side are aiming to become the fourth side to retain the Premier League
And Reds right-back Alexander-Arnold believes not only must they match sides’ extra motivation – such as the motivation they had when facing City during the last two seasons – if they are to retain their crown, but they must also believe they are not the favourites heading into games.
‘I think trying to adapt to it as quick as possible, because the biggest thing is that the motivation that other teams get when you are going into games,’ Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports.
‘They have that extra 10 per cent in mentality that ‘this is the team to beat this season, they are the champions, we want to beat them’.
‘It is massive for the fans because that is the mentality we had when we came up against City in the last two seasons that they are the team to beat, so we have that extra motivation going into games and we know that is going to happen to us so it is about our mentality.
Jurgen Klopp’s men open the new 2020/21 campaign at home to Leeds United on Saturday
‘We know over the last two to three years that we have got the quality to win games, we have won games in different ways so it is about maintaining that mentality of still trying to believe that we are the underdogs and that works best for us.’
The England right-back also claimed that the side’s development holds greater importance this season than trying to surpass their 99 points tally or 85 goals they scored last season.
The 21-year-old also admitted the Anfield club have a ‘big target’ on their backs and rivals’ extra motivation will mean retaining their crown is made doubly difficult.
Alexander-Arnold also claimed his side will have a big target on their backs this season
‘For us it is not about maybe topping the points that we got or score more goals,’ he added.
‘It is about if we can all develop as a team and keep winning and keep that mentality, that is the main thing that helped us get this far and we know what it takes to win now.
‘We know there is a big target on our backs now being the champions and teams are going to be extra motivated when they play us, so we need to match that mentality and take it to the next step and understand that winning it back-to-back is harder than winning it once.’
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