Liverpool has been one of the biggest favourites for winning this year’s Champions League. It is not only because the Reds reached the finals last season, but because they made several big transfers during this summer, which eventually upgraded all the lines of the team. The club from Anfield decided to invest a lot of money in their squad, hoping that this might help them win some silverware.
Adding the likes of Allison, Nabi Keita, Fabinho, etc, dramatically increased Liverpool’s quality, and the results came right away.
According to both Jurgen Klopp and the management of the Reds, the goals for this season are to chase trophies of all the competitions they participate in. After six long seasons without any success, and two lost European finals against Sevilla in the Europa League, and Real Madrid in the UCL, the time has come for one of the most popular clubs in the world, to bring some joy on the faces of their fans. It is why the ladder for this season is set at a very high level.
Neville Doubts in Liverpool’s Depth
But Garry Neville, one of the best and most prominent players in Manchester United’s history, said that the boys from Anfield should focus only on one competition, and that would be the Premier League, and nothing else. Even if that means to drop off from targeting the Champions League trophy.
The right-back had one pretty confusing and awkward statement, which caused many reactions from the Liverpool fans. Neville said that if he was in charge at Anfield, he would neglect the most prominent competition in Europe.
“The Champions League – if I was Liverpool, I would kick it into touch. “I know that’s very hard to do but if they could go into February, March, April without it, I think they could have a real chance if they had free weeks.”
When asked why he has such an opinion, Neville expressed his doubts about Liverpool’s plan to chase trophies on all fronts. He says that Reds players can’t manage the pressure of playing constantly and that various injuries combined with fatigue will cost this team dearly.
“Why? I think their method is exhausting for the front three. The drop in quality below them, if there are injuries or playing Wednesday, Saturday, I think it will take its toll.”
It appears that Neville does not believe in Liverpool’s assessment when it comes to the quality of the bench and its depth, and that especially refers to the offensive players who are not in the starting lineup. Besides the fantastic trio Salah, Mane and Firmino, who had a great impact in the record-breaking efficiency in UCL in the last campaign, the finalists of that competition also have Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Dominic Solanke, and the newcomer from Stoke City Xherdan Shaqiri who already proved to be a valuable asset.
Still, after all these claims, Neville confessed that the Reds play magnificent football this season and that both offense and defense are looking very good. He also added that he, as a Man Utd fan, is very worried.
“But, as a United fan, I am very concerned about them. This front three have always been fantastic, and now the midfield can run, it can pass, it has depth. And the back four looks a unit.”
“The football they are playing under Jürgen Klopp, it’s fantastic. As a United fan, that’s a worry because it is still that mentality of ‘anyone but them’.” said Neville. He continued with, “Same for them, anyone but us. That’s not ‘Gary Neville, he’s a Red, he hates Scousers’. Those days have gone. I am more thoughtful now.”
This interview was ended with his memory from the 2013/14 season, when Brendan Rodgers and his boys led by Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, and others, nearly won the title. Neville spoke about the atmosphere on and off the pitch, which was at that time ecstatic, and his fears, that the Reds might win the title, which would have been a very disappointing situation for him.
“But it’s a worry. I got a glimpse a few years ago when Brendan Rodgers was going for it, thousands lining the streets, the fireworks before a game. I thought then, ‘Imagine if they win this’. I was turning up at Anfield three hours early because I couldn’t get into the ground otherwise.”
Reds One of the Main Favourites in All the Competitions
As a reminder, Liverpool is in the group C of the Champions League along with Paris Saint Germain, Napoli, and the Serbian champions Red Star. By far, this is the toughest group of all, and the majority of both experts and the fans agree on that. The Reds are, according to several of the best football betting sites in the world, the seventh favourite to win a title, with 12/1 odds. In front of the club from Anfield are, Man City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, PSG, and Bayern Munich.
When it comes to the domestic championship, Klopp’s troops are right behind Man City, as the second favourite, but if they continue to play like in the first four rounds when they allowed only one goal and collected all 12 points, this could quickly change. One other very important thing is the fact that the German manager found the formula for the Citizens in the second part of the last season, because his team snapped the defeatless streak of Guardiola’s squad, and also eliminated them in the quarterfinals of the UCL.
This Saturday Liverpool heads for London, to meet with Tottenham Hotspurs, one of the potential rivals for the top spot in the Premiership. Only three days later, they will open their Champions League campaign at Anfield, in the derby of the first round of this competition against Paris Saint Germain.