Despite Liverpool holding a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League, Jamie Carragher believes Manchester City may just be favourites to win the title come the end of the season, but feels that their quest for European glory may yet get in their way.
Thursday night’s 2-0 defeat against Pep Guardiola’s side saw Liverpool suffer their first Premier League loss of the season, but still leaves them out of reach in first place for at least another round of fixtures that will not take place until after this weekend’s FA Cup third round and next week’s Carabao Cup semi-finals.
But even though City trail by four points, former Liverpool defender Carragher believes that they have made themselves slight favourites with the victory at the Etihad Stadium given that, in his eyes, they remain the best side in the country.
“We've said from the start of the season that City are the best team in this league so, looking at it now with a four-point gap, it's probably 50-50 or maybe slightly in City's favour,” Carragher said on Sky Sports. “They will fancy their chances.”
But Liverpool are far from fleeing to their panic stations just yet, and in Carragher’s opinion, there’s more to be positive about than just the points lead given that he believes they may just start to alter their priorities as the remainder of the season progresses.
“I just think with City... yes, the League is everything for Liverpool but with City it's more than the League,” Carragher added. “You mentioned Pep Guardiola coming here to dominate, I agree. If he is here for four or five years, no matter how many titles he wins he will be judged against the Champions League because of what he's done at Barcelona.
“That's the big thing for City to take them to the next level and become one of those super clubs with Champions Leagues on their CV.
“So a big a part of this season with be about who goes furthest in the Champions League.
“City are still in the Carabao Cup also and still got the FA Cup. If Liverpool could just concentrate on the League that might be the advantage that they need.”
City face Rotherham on Sunday in the FA Cup third round where Guardiola is likely to field a heavily-rotated side, ahead of next Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Burton Albion in a true David vs Goliath match-up. They eventually turn their attentions back to the League campaign when they face Wolves on Monday 14 January, the same side that Liverpool play in the FA Cup this weekend, with the Reds renewing their Premier League campaign against Brighton next weekend.
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