Gary Neville makes prediction about Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC this season

Ex-Man United star Gary Neville believes that this season's Premier League title race is far from over

Gary Neville
Former Manchester United star Gary Neville (Photo: Sky Sports)

Gary Neville believes that Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC are still in with a chance of winning the Premier League this season despite Manchester City’s current lead.

The Citizens have emerged out of the hectic festive period with a nine-point lead at the top of the table as Pep Guardiola looks to steer his side to back-to-back Premier League titles.

Liverpool FC managed to cut the gap down to nine points at the weekend and the Reds have a game in hand over the Citizens, meaning that they could get within six points of Guardiola’s side if they win their additional fixture.

Chelsea FC, meanwhile, are a further point behind Liverpool FC but they have played two games more than the Merseyside outfit.

It had been looking as though Manchester City may run away with the title following their strong spell over the winter period – but former Manchester United defender Neville believes that the title race will be closer than people are expecting and says Liverpool FC “have got it in them” to catch the defending champions.

Speaking on his Sky Sports podcast after Sunday’s games, Neville said: “I think Liverpool are doing really well without two of their main players [Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane].

“Things like [City’s 1-1 draw at Southampton] give a little bit of encouragement. City are a machine and you don’t expect them to make a lot of mistakes – but they could, and Liverpool and Chelsea have got to believe that.

“I’m not that disappointed in Liverpool because I think they have to be at full pelt all the time to get to City just because they haven’t got the squad that City have got.

“But I do think Chelsea have [the squad] and I expect it to get close. I don’t expect this runaway league; five weeks ago, we expected this three-horse race and we’ve almost been pushed into a feeling that City have won it.

“I don’t think we have got the three-horse race back this weekend through the fact that Chelsea and Liverpool have won and City have drawn, but I don’t think we are going to have that runaway 20-point championship that we have had sometimes with City.

“It can happen. Liverpool have got it in them if they can keep that 11 together and get Sadio Mane and Mo Salah back flying, but this squad that Chelsea have got, if they can get [Romelu] Lukaku absolutely buzzing, bashing people around, backing into them and rolling them like he did in that last half-an-hour [in the 2-0 defeat of Tottenham], and starting to put the ball in the back of the net – there’s so many inventive players you could play around him – so if they can just hit form between them, they can play three games a week because they can change two players every game and not really have a dip.

“Whether it’s Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner or Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount, you don’t see a massive dip in terms of quality when one plays or the other.

“If Thomas Tuchel can keep them all happy, I think they can have a really strong finish to the season, I really do.

“I think the quality in the Premier League this season is outstanding and it doesn’t deserve to have someone winning it by 15 points.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool FC captain Jordan Henderson insisted that he and his team-mates are not giving up in the race for the title on the back of their 3-1 victory away at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

“We want to keep going, there is still a long way to go,” said Henderson. “We know City have got a big lead and are a fantastic side so it’s just about concentrating on ourselves and what we can do.

“We want to keep winning games and see where we are at come the end of the season.”

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