Gary Neville thinks Liverpool are currently playing in a level which could win the Premier League title to them this year – and anxieties Aymeric Laporte’s injury could prove expensive.
Liverpool continued their 100 per cent start to the year with a 3-0 triumph in Burnley on Saturday ensuring they venture to the break two points before City in the Premier League’s peak.
Sky Sports’ Neville was impressed by the start of Jurgen Klopp’s side to the season.
“I was watching Liverpool at Burnley and I had that feeling,” the former Manchester United defender stated.
“I said last year that I believed they were a championship team. They are a tournament team. They’re currently playing .
“You saw them at Burnley, plus they weren’t brilliant in the first 20 minutes, but they go and get a goal and then another objective.
“You talk about the clinical section of a group. The bit that is defensive is right, the bit that is attacking is correct, and the midfield appears strong and seasoned. They’re a title-winning team and they were last year, essentially by what they did”
Manchester City also have started the defence of the title.
Have drifted apart Bournemouth, West Ham and Brighton, with a 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham the only blemish up to now on the listing of the winners.
But, Neville has concerns about City after the knee injury sustained by defender Laporte from the win over Brighton at summertime target Harry Maguire rather at Manchester United and the weekend, especially using Vincent Kompany not at the club.
Laporte went down under a challenge at the Etihad Stadium from Brighton centre-back Adam Webster at the minute of the game. Holding midfielder Fernandinho was then stretchered off after getting medical attention on his knee and replaced the Frenchman.
Following the game Guardiola shown the protector could be outside for a”while”.
“In case Laporte’s injury is a severe one, it is a large issue for City,” Neville said.
“I said a couple of weeks back that I had been struggling to understand why City did not follow through on Harry Maguire with Vincent Kompany leaving the club.
“I thought Kompany won them the Celtics in the past ten matches of last year when he played in all those games. Forget the Leicester minute which was magnificent, I thought his leadership held them in a period when Liverpool were employing pressure just like you wouldn’t think.
“In terms of this leader-type figure, I think Laporte has that.
“I think that this will cost City points,” he further added. “To be honest, there is no one greater on the planet at coaching than Pep Guardiola, full stop. And there’s no one better at making what could be make-shift centre-backs play well.
“I watched two Champions League finals where Barcelona’d Javier Mascherano and Yaya Toure playing centre-back from Manchester United. So, I’m not going to sit here and make the mistake of believing because they have that much of this ball during matches even a Kyle Walker or a Fernandinho can’t turn to a.
“What I would say is that when Laporte is outside for quite a while, I think that it will cost City points because he’s a dominant centre-back. I saw him three occasions and he is a terrific player. It’s a real stress for City.
“Maguire would have been ideal. Manchester United did for him but I’m surprised City didn’t go for him. They did and they just pulled out due to the cash in the long run or anything it was.
“I only believe with Kompany leaving, he had been Belgian, but he had been an old-fashioned throw your mind at it centre-back in both boxes that when you move to certain grounds from the Premier league you perform.
“When chunks flew into the box along with also the pressure-built, Vincent Kompany stood tall and made sure they all left.
“That is the 1 downer from the weekend City and when I had been a City fan it could worry me in the short term and the medium-term, depending on how long he had been out ”
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