Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool will embrace the "really difficult" start to their Premier League defence - and expects Chelsea to close the gap between the sides this season.

The Reds are at Stamford Bridge on Sunday having opened the top-flight campaign with a thrilling 4-3 over promoted Leeds United at Anfield last weekend.

Arsenal then visit on Monday week before trips to Aston Villa and neighbours Everton.

And when asked if Liverpool would have preferred a more sedate beginning, Klopp was adamant.

"Can you name me the teams that would give us that kind of start?" responded the Reds boss. "I don't see that.

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"Each Premier League game is difficult for its own reasons. When you first see it, you think somebody had the idea to give us Leeds, send us to Chelsea, bring in Arsenal, then go to Aston Villa before we play Everton.

"It's a tough one. But go through the Premier League and replace those teams with five other names and tell me what's easier?

"It's not possible. We have to start in this way, and all these games are really difficult.

"For one second when I saw the fixture list I thought 'ooh, interesting'. But that's it. From then on we just focus on ourselves."

Chelsea have spent more than £200million in the transfer market this summer and opened with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion last Monday evening.

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Frank Lampard's side finished 33 points behind Liverpool last term but Klopp does not envisage a repeat.

"I didn't expect the points gap we had last season to the other teams." he said. "So it's 100% clear they will close the gaps.

"It's not important what I think about it, but Chelsea's transfers show their own ambition. They were fourth last year. They only want to go up from that."