Andy Robertson believes Liverpool will only require a points haul “in the 80s” to defend their Premier League title in 2020-21, saying Jurgen Klopp’s side have more margin for error than in recent seasons.
The Reds missed out on the English top-flight crown by a solitary point in 2018-19 despite collecting 97 and suffering only one defeat.
A 30-year wait for domestic glory was finally brought to a close last season, with Klopp’s side amassing 99 points.
They have been a dominant force at home and abroad for some time, but the playing field appears to have levelled out amid the many tests presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
Robertson admits as much with Liverpool seeing the chasing pack close in this term, and he expects the title race to more keenly contested this time around.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Scotland international – who has seen Liverpool held in their last two outings against West Brom and Newcastle – said: “Over the last two years or even three years - and no disrespect to those clubs - but last season we would have won those games.
“If you add two points to every one of those games then the league table is looking a lot different and we're sitting pretty happy, but you know, this season is going to be unique.
"I think there are seven or eight teams - once the games in hand have been played that are within three points of us at the top, and it's going to be a unique season as I said.
“I think I can comfortably say it's not going to be 97 or 98 points that is going to win the league this season, it's probably going to be in the 80s because it is that tight and everyone is taking points off each other. We need to stay in the race, and that's what we have done so far.
“Of course, the last two games have been disappointing, especially Newcastle [which ended 0-0]. We could have probably played all night the amount of chances we had, I think [Newcastle goalkeeper] Karl Darlow would have kept every one of them out the way he has playing. You sometimes get games like that.
"Thankfully, we haven't had too many like that in the last couple of years, but we had it the other night.
“It's just now we need to kick on in 2021. We need to go on a run of games where we win. We of course need to pick up more away points and keep picking up maximum points at home, and let's see where we end up. It's a unique season. Hopefully we end up on top.”
Robertson is determined to enhance to his medal collection this season, having added the Premier League crown to Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup prizes.
He said, heading into the meeting with Southampton at St Mary’s on Monday: “For 2021 as a whole, I hope it ends in success. The last two years we have been lucky enough to get our hands on a trophy, and of course we want to strive for more.
"We know the hard work and everything that needs to go to win any sort of trophy and we are determined to do so.
“Obviously we will get Virg [van Dijk] back in 2021 at some point. I'm not sure that will be any time this season, but he will get back and it's been great having him and Joe Gomez around the players and be able to see them and put a smile on their faces as well. Hopefully those boys and all of the injured boys are back on the pitch real soon.”