Date published: Tuesday 16th June 2020 4:08
Jamie Carragher has warned that Liverpool’s Premier League dominance might only last for one season.
The former Reds defender believes Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is already plotting to knock Jurgen Klopp’s champions-in-waiting off their perch.
Ahead of the Premier League’s eagerly anticipated return on Wednesday, Liverpool legend Carragher has sent out a warning to his former club as he suggests their 25-point advantage at the top of the table has served up an unrealistic snapshot of the balance of power between the top two in English football.
Liverpool’s coronation as Premier League champions could be confirmed as early as next Sunday when they play Everton at Goodison Park, yet Carragher is expecting City will snap back from their humbling in quick-fire fashion as he predicts next season’s title race will have a very different complexion.
“Liverpool are not 25 points better than Man City, I don’t believe that for a second,” said Sky Sports pundit Carragher. “In fact, I think there is very little between the teams, whatever the table might say at this moment.
“I’d be amazed if next season is not similar to what we saw last year, when it was neck-and-neck throughout and was decided on the final weekend and City won the title by a point.
“It’s hard to envisage a situation where a Pep Guardiola team being so far off the pace again. It has never happened to him before in his career and he won’t let it happen again, it’s as simple as that.
“Pep’s teams normally get close to 95/100 points in a season and this is the one year when they are miles off the pace. In my mind, this is just a blip and City will be back pushing Liverpool again next season.
“City have got a few things wrong this season and their big mistake was failing to replace Vincent Kompany last summer, while they have been unfortunate in an injury to Aymeric Laporte, their best centre-back.
The big game was at Anfield
“At times, they had a midfielder in Fernandinho playing at centre-back and he has played really well most of the time, but you are not going to win the league with a 33 or 34-year-old midfielder at the centre of your defence, especially when you come up against a rival as consistent as Liverpool, who have only lost one game this season.
“A set of circumstances have conspired against City this season and when the gap went to 10 and 12 points, I think their focus switched to other competitions because the belief that they could retain the Premier League disappeared.
“The big game for me was Liverpool v City at Anfield in November. Liverpool had beaten Villa in the last minute the previous weekend and then went and beat City in the big game at the top of the table.
“If Liverpool had lost at Villa, City would have had a chance to go level on points with Liverpool by winning at Anfield, but suddenly that gap was nine points. So that was a huge turnaround that week.
“City have had a bad year, there is no getting away from that, but a team led by Guardiola and with so many great players won’t take this lying down. They will be back next season.”
Sky Sports and NOW TV will show 64 matches – 39 exclusive to subscribers and an extra 25 available more widely on Sky One. The Premier League action returns with a double-header next Wednesday.
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