Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard thinks this year's Premier League title race has been a "freak". The 35-year-old midfielder, who never won the Premier League crown during his time at Anfield, believes Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur's players will be especially keen to win the league because they are unlikely to get another opportunity.
Gerrard said the two sets of players will be acutely aware that this opportunity may never come around again, which only adds to the pressure they are currently facing.
"For the players of Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, the recent Chelsea title winning teams or the great Liverpool sides of the 1980s, there was expectation and experience to go with the stress," the ex-Liverpool skipper told The Telegraph.
"Each title win would have meant everything to them, but they would always have felt in the back of their mind they'd get more opportunities regardless of the outcome. That must have been a source of comfort, relaxing them in the final critical weeks."
Gerrard said the lack of title-winning experience in the Spurs and Leicester squads will be a factor in the closing weeks of the season. "I am not suggesting they were any less hungry – if anything winning trophies makes you crave success even more – but they were never in a position where it seemed to be 'now or never'," said Gerrard, who left Liverpool in 2015.
"There is more weight on the shoulders of Leicester and Spurs than there was on Chelsea this time last season or Manchester City the year before, for example. I felt that weight when I was at the end of my career with Liverpool, recognising it was my last chance to win the one trophy that eluded me.
"Leicester's players know if they don't win the title this season, this particular squad will never win it. Sorry to ditch the romance but there is no doubt in my mind this is a freak year for them and they won't get so close next season."
The former Liverpool hero added: "It would be great for football if they do win it, proving everything is possible and we don't need to presume the same clubs will share the trophies every year, but let's not ignore the fact there is going to be major backlash from the rich and powerful to stop it happening again."