EPL

Man City are still Premier League favourites – Carragher

By Sports Desk September 11, 2019

Manchester City remain favourites to win the Premier League ahead of Liverpool, according to Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool have made a perfect start to the league campaign, winning their opening four matches to hold a two-point lead at the top early in the season.

Jurgen Klopp's men pushed City all the way last season before Pep Guardiola's side defended their title.

Carragher, who won the Champions League during a stellar career at Liverpool, believes City are still favourites.

"I think it's a bit early yet. I think we've got to probably wait until Christmas," he said on Wednesday.

"I do feel around about Christmas time Liverpool and City will have a substantial gap and it looks like there's a little bit of a gap at this moment.

"But I still think City are favourites and are the best team in the Premier League at this moment because they won the Premier League and they proved that last season.

"So I think it's still on Liverpool to overtake City but they're more than capable."

Liverpool (12 points) and Manchester City (10) are ahead of Leicester City (eight) through four games.

Manchester City make the trip to Norwich City on Saturday, while Liverpool host Newcastle United on the same day.

Related items

  • Liverpool must be relentless in trophy chase – Adrian Liverpool must be relentless in trophy chase – Adrian

    Liverpool's stunning start to the season will count for nothing if they do not maintain their high standards, Adrian has warned.

    The Spaniard continued to deputise for the injured Alisson as the Reds claimed a 2-1 win at Chelsea on Sunday, putting them five points clear at the Premier League summit.

    But Adrian urged his side to keep pushing for more, knowing reigning champions Manchester City are ready to pounce on any slip-ups.

    "We keep fighting and we keep that momentum going and keep it in a positive way, of course," the goalkeeper told the club's official website.

    "We have done really well but we've done nothing yet so we need to keep going and keep fighting for the next one. We are on a good run in the Premier League with good energy and intensity.

    "In the first half [against Chelsea] we did really well and I think we deserved the three points. Obviously they pushed in the second half but we defended really well."

    While Jurgen Klopp's side boast a 100 per cent record in the top flight, the defence of their Champions League crown started with a 2-0 defeat at Napoli.

    Adrian conceded it was a tough loss to take but he took comfort in their response at Stamford Bridge, where first-half goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino were enough to get the job done.

    "The other night in the Champions League against Napoli we lost," he said. "I don't think we deserved to have that result and it was really hard for us, but we recovered well. We are back in the Premier League and back to winning.

    "It's always important to have a good connection between all of the players, also the fans, the crowd, the manager, the staff – everyone.

    "We are like a rock now and we are together. We are enjoying this moment but we need to keep looking forward for more points."

  • Sarri waits on Ronaldo fitness ahead of Brescia test Sarri waits on Ronaldo fitness ahead of Brescia test

    Cristiano Ronaldo's fitness will be assessed ahead of Juventus' Serie A clash with Brescia on Tuesday.

    Juve boss Maurizio Sarri confirmed Ronaldo had suffered with muscle fatigue over the weekend, putting his participation in doubt.

    Sarri said he expected to have to juggle his selection after a busy week in which his side played three times.

    "I want to see the current conditions. Ronaldo yesterday [Sunday] had a little muscle fatigue but it is quite normal after three games in seven days," he said.

    "We'll see if it is necessary or not for someone to rest. It's important that we have continuity in this moment, but there are also other factors to consider.

    "We'll have to make some evaluations."

    Brescia were 1-0 winners at Udinese last time out and Sarri, whose side surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League before overcoming Hellas Verona 2-1 in Serie A, is expecting a tough challenge.

    He also cited a potential Brescia debut for Mario Balotelli as an added layer of difficulty for the away fixture.

    "Brescia are a dangerous team," he said. "They play decent football in an enthusiastic environment and a lot of work has gone into it. The game is undoubtedly a tricky one.

    "Balotelli's return could give them additional enthusiasm, they are in great shape."

    Ronaldo is on the three-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Player award on Monday, alongside Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk. 

  • Barcelona boss Valverde quashes crisis talk amid poor start to LaLiga season Barcelona boss Valverde quashes crisis talk amid poor start to LaLiga season

    Ernesto Valverde dismissed claims of Barcelona being in crisis as nothing more than a quirk of modern football as he remained relaxed about speculation over his future.

    Barca's worst start to a LaLiga season in 25 years was confirmed by a shock 2-0 defeat at Granada on Saturday.

    The result, a second defeat in five league games for the champions, left them four points adrift of first and extended their winless run away from home to seven competitive matches, a streak that includes draws at Osasuna and Borussia Dortmund.

    Tuesday's home meeting with Villarreal presents a swift opportunity for Barca to get their campaign back on track and Valverde hopes to quieten a growing number of critics.

    "In the world of football, we talk about a crisis every three days and in three days you can be out of the crisis," Valverde said at his pre-match news conference.

    "That's what we want: we want to pick up the six points available this week.

    "Why are we in this situation? Because we haven't won, that's clear. There were moments when we weren't creating enough chances to turn the game around.

    "There are things we have to improve but, apart from the second half against Dortmund, none of our opponents have really been bombarding us with chances. We're getting penalised by occasional, one-off things that are happening.

    "We're creating the chances, but we need to create more. That's where we really need to improve. We need to create more than the opposition."

    One player capable of carving out scoring opportunities, Ousmane Dembele, will return to the squad against Villarreal after recovering from a hamstring injury.

    The fit-again Lionel Messi will be considered for a starting place following two successive appearances off the bench, but Ivan Rakitic has been left out.

    Anything less than victory at Camp Nou would pile further pressure on Valverde, who has faced stern scrutiny since last season's Champions League semi-final collapse against Liverpool.

    "It's not new. I have felt under examination from the beginning," the Blaugrana boss said.

    "There is a very large demand on coaches, much more in the case of Barca. The coach is always in the spotlight. It's no surprise."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.