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Everton manager Ronald Koeman backs Liverpool to challenge for Premier League title

SoccerBy Sunday World
Ronald Koeman shakes hands with Jurgen Klopp after Southampton beat Liverpool last season
Ronald Koeman shakes hands with Jurgen Klopp after Southampton beat Liverpool last season

Liverpool's title chances have received support from the most unlikely of sources - Everton manager Ronald Koeman.

Jurgen Klopp's side currently top the Premier League - for the first time since May 2014 - and their attacking style this season has fuelled talk of contending for a first championship since 1990.

Their brand of football has earned them a number of admirers, among them near-neighbour Koeman, whose side face their rivals in the first Merseyside derby of the campaign at Goodison Park in a month's time.

"It's still too early to say who will be the favourites, but I have been impressed by Liverpool so far," the Dutchman told ESPN.

"Maybe that is not what you might expect the Everton manager to say but they have been playing some very good football and deserve to be at the top.

"They have goals in their team and this is what all successful sides need.

"Of course they can be champions this season, they have a good chance, but they are not the only contenders."

It is the second time in a week Koeman's comments will have surprised Everton fans after he suggested striker Romelu Lukaku would need to leave the club to fulfil his potential.