Despite Liverpool recently defeating Manchester City 3-1 in the Community Shield, Wayne Rooney believes the Citizens are a ‘better side’ than the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were held to a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage yesterday in their opening Premier League game of the season whilst the Sky Blues are also in the capital this weekend preparing for today’s clash with West Ham United.
Liverpool’s new forward Darwin Nunez found the back of the net in the clash with Fulham, just like he did in the victory over City last week and it is now Erling Haaland’s turn to silence some of the criticism he’s received following a lacklustre Charity Shield performance.
“We’ve seen many players come to the Premier League with big expectations and it not work out but I just have a feeling that in Haaland’s case it will,” Rooney told The Times (via the Liverpool Echo). “That he’ll make City better, handle it all and give them that advantage over Liverpool.
“If he has a good start to the season, I think he can kick on to be a superstar in the league. He is a major reason why I see City retaining the title.
“Liverpool are an incredible team and can beat anyone on their day but I just think, across the pitch, City have better players and that they’re a better side.
“Having that real goalscorer at No 9 gives City an extra fear factor and makes them a threat from almost anywhere.
“City don’t come under pressure often but now when they’re defending they have an outlet who they can play the ball up to, who is quick and powerful enough to run in behind anyone.”
Haaland may be a real goalscorer and offer City something different, but can’t the same be said of Nunez for Liverpool?
We can now regularly operate with an out-and-out striker for pretty much the first time ever since Jurgen Klopp arrived on Merseyside back in 2015.
The Uruguayan will run in behind and stretch defences and also brings those around him into the game – yesterday was a prime example of this.
There’s no doubting that City’s new forward is a world-class player, but at the moment it’s Nunez that’s made more of an impact.
If Pep Guardiola’s side can taste success at the London Stadium later today then that will give them an early lead in the title race, but as we all know, the season is long and nothing is won in August.