Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Paul Merson says: Forwards give Liverpool every chance in Premier League title race – Sky Sports


In his latest column, Sky SportsPaul Merson says Liverpool have every chance of winning the Premier League title because of their prolific forwards. | Watch Liverpool vs Man Utd on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm
Football Expert & Columnist
Sunday 17 December 2023 17:37, UK
Liverpool are a team that will always score goals. They have got five brilliant attackers in Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez who are all capable of scoring goals. No other team has that and it is why Liverpool have every chance of going all the way in the race for the Premier League title.
Liverpool have fought hard this season. They are a team that don’t know when they are beaten and that’s a good sign for Jurgen Klopp.
However, it is their prolific front line which gives them the greatest optimism, in my opinion. Salah, Diaz, Gakpo, Jota and Nunez – they all have the ability to get double figures this season. That’s a luxury.
You can pick Salah and any of the other two and you are not weakening the team in any way. You saw that on Saturday against Crystal Palace. Things weren’t going to plan but you can make changes that can have an impact on the game.
Compare that to Arsenal and while they do have good players in Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah replacing the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus, you feel like they are weakening the team. That’s not the case with Liverpool’s options.
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You could argue Man City have better players going forward but they don’t have players that will score more than Liverpool’s five.
If they can keep Virgil van Dijk fit at the back, the forwards will get the goals and that is why I think Liverpool have every chance of winning the title.
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In a way, I feel sorry for Salah. I really don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for what he’s done and is doing at Liverpool. He’s similar to Wayne Rooney for me in that regard. He was another who didn’t get the credit he deserved.
Salah puts up figures that blow everyone away. 200 goals for Liverpool already, playing on the right wing. It’s extraordinary.
Everyone tells me that Bukayo Saka is one of the best wingers in the world but playing in exactly the same position as Salah, he gets nowhere near his figures. What Salah produces at the highest level is just mind blowing. We talk about Jack Grealish and Phil Foden, who are unbelievable footballers, but they won’t score as many as Salah put together.
He’s definitely in the top five players in the world for me. He always gets massive goals in massive football matches, and I can’t speak highly enough of him as a player.
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I always thought December was going to be a big month. Just look at Aston Villa with those back-to-back wins. Things can change really quickly with the games coming thick and fast.
I’ve said it before, but nothing has changed for me. If a team finishes above Man City and doesn’t win the league, they will be the unluckiest football team ever to play in the Premier League.
City can go and win 13 games on the trot after Christmas, no problem. No other team can do that. That is why Man City are still the favourites.
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Their squad is too big and too strong, and the more people go against them, the better they are going to be. They won’t like it when people start writing them off and I think they will use that to motivate them.
There’s absolutely no margin for error for the challengers because of City’s ability to just go on a run. We saw that last year with Arsenal.
The big problem City could have is the fact both Arsenal and Liverpool are up there this year. It’s much harder to chase two teams down.
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Meanwhile, it goes from bad to worse for Manchester United. They can all of a sudden sneak a result and the club manage to get their head above water. However, exiting Europe is a shocker.
When the draw came out, you were left thinking that whatever happened they would finish second in this group. That’s no disrespect meant to Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen, but we are talking Premier League giants Manchester United. But to go out like they did and not even get in the Europa League is an absolute shocker.
Against Bayern Munich on Tuesday the crowd turned up and it was like they were expecting to get beaten. That feeling translated onto the pitch and the players felt it too. They knew. It was a really bad watch.
There are ways of losing football matches, like Arsenal did at Aston Villa last weekend. Arsenal could come away from Villa Park with a few positives because they played really well.
You thought United would have had a really good go at this. It was a free swing with nothing to lose and United shouldn’t get free swings. This is the biggest club in the world. However, they played it like they were a non-League team going to a Championship team in the FA Cup.
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Manchester United will not beat Liverpool.
Bruno Fernandes is suspended and there a injury concerns over Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw. Bruno is their best player by a million miles. Everyone moans about him but he’s the one who makes things happen at least.
I just don’t know what I am watching with United.
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When I saw them against Chelsea the other week, they weren’t great, but they worked hard and set the bar. They closed Chelsea down, got in their faces and they forced them to give the ball away umpteen times. However, that’s followed up by a hammering from Bournemouth and defeat to Bayern where they exit Europe completely.
Any other manager in the world wouldn’t be there.
It’s where it has gone now with United. They are beaten by Bournemouth and that is half acceptable. Everyone says it is the Glazers’ fault and now the players are hiding behind the owners, who are paying their wages. The players cannot believe their luck.
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There were plenty of people talking about United being three points behind Man City a little while back. People were positive but let’s be real, never in a million years are they going to finish above Man City this season or in the foreseeable future.
It made me laugh. The only way is if there’s a points deduction or something.
What Man Utd should be more concerned about is the fact they are eight points behind Aston Villa.
United have had some nice fixtures and just got over the line in a fair few of them. Now we will see what’s really going on with Liverpool at Anfield, West Ham away and then Villa at home.
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