Richard Dunne believes that Liverpool will be the main challengers to his former club Manchester City in the Premier League title race this season.
The two teams shared a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium last weekend as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late strike cancelled out Erling Haaland’s first-half goal, with Arsenal going above both sides to sit at the summit after they won at Brentford a few hours later.
However, the ex-Republic of Ireland defender believes it’ll be Jurgen Klopp’s side rather than the Gunners who stand the best chance of stopping Pep Guardiola’s team from winning a fourth successive top-flight crown.
In a Q&A with online betting site Betway, Dunne replied when asked who’d be Man City’s ‘biggest challengers’ for the title: “City and Liverpool will be up there. I’m still not sure about Arsenal and if they can compete in all the different competitions.
“Is their squad big enough? People have already spoken about their lack of a centre forward. They’ve created their own problems in the goalkeeping department, which now seems to be a big issue.
“Tottenham have shown they’re just not strong enough with a few injuries. I’m more inclined to go with Liverpool.”
Liverpool passed a big acid test in their draw against Man City last weekend, earning a deserved point against the champions, even if neither team played to their strongest level.
With Tottenham having lost three successive games this month, the Reds and Arsenal currently look like the main contenders to City’s throne, although Aston Villa can’t be discounted at the moment either, sitting just two point off the summit.
Over the last few years of Guardiola-led dominance, it’s Klopp’s side who’ve done more than anyone else to arrest the monopoly, storming to the title in 2019/20 and coming within a single point of toppling the Manchester side in two other campaigns where 97 and 92 points still weren’t enough to finish as champions.
If Liverpool are to knock City off their perch this season, though, their away form simply must improve – they haven’t won any of their last four top-flight matches on their travels, dating back to beating Wolves at Molineux in mid-September.
Should they put that anomaly right from December onwards, and if their lethal forward line can continue to rack up goals at an impressive rate, they’re likely to prove Dunne correct in terms of proving the sternest test to the four-in-a-row chasers.
If these two are neck-and-neck at the top when City come to Anfield in March, that’ll have all the makings of an epic – and potentially title race-defining – contest on Merseyside!