Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes Liverpool could struggle to mount a title challenge like the one they managed last season, given the demands of the Champions League.

Liverpool were odds-on favourites to win their first English crown in 24 years until a late-season slip allowed City to oust them from top spot.

The rivals meet at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night — both opened with victory on Sunday — and they will learn their Champions League group-stage opponents three days later.

Kompany and City have failed to emerge from the first phase in two of the last three seasons and the Belgian said: ‘When the Champions League comes in it will be a different competition all over for Liverpool — and for all the clubs that are involved in the Champions League because it will get more demanding as the weeks go on.’

City were 2-0 victors at Newcastle on Sunday and Kompany believes it was important to lay winning foundations in the bid to defend their title.

‘Newcastle was important for us because it takes a lot of pressure away from the Liverpool game,’ he said.

‘It is one of the most poisonous away games you can have at the start of the season and we did really well.’

City rewarded David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri with long-term contracts during the summer and are in discussions with Edin Dzeko and Joe Hart. Kompany believes securing the future of his team-mates is worth just as much as bringing in new faces.

‘It is one thing to make new signings but it is another to make sure we have a core of players who know the league and have enjoyed success in the league,’ he said.

Kompany missed 10 league matches last season because of injury, but insists he is ready for the physical demands of the campaign ahead.

‘I feel great,’ he said. ‘That (Newcastle) was the first test for me . I felt straight away that I was at the level I wanted to be at.’– Daily Mail