Image source: Getty Images
Former Liverpool star Danny Murphy has tipped former club to edge Manchester City to the Premier League title this season.
In his Daily Mail column, Match of the Day pundit Murphy made his predictions for the upcoming season.
“Manchester City and Liverpool were 25 points clear of the field last season,” he said. “I’m sure they won’t quite repeat their unbelievable results but it will still be a two-horse race for the title. The gap is too big for their rivals to make up in one go.
“A fully-fit Kevin de Bruyne will give City a boost, he is one of the best midfield players in the world, but I’m still backing Liverpool to turn around the one-point deficit from last May.
“Partly it’s because City could subconsciously prioritise the Champions League, having won the Premier League twice in a row. Pep Guardiola would never admit it but his players might take their more winnable games for granted and occasionally slip up.
“The main reason, however, is the departure of Vincent Kompany, their leader for so long. Kompany can be replaced on the pitch but in the dressing room and training ground it will be impossible to find someone with his experience, credibility and gravitas.
“Every team, no matter how good, have moments in the season where players quibble or fall out. The manager can’t always fix things: it’s sometimes down to a senior player to say ‘I need a word’ and put things right.
“City will have a new captain but Kompany’s influence spread beyond wearing an armband. He had authority and the respect of everyone. When City were tiring at the end of last season, it was no coincidence that Guardiola turned to Kompany to play and provide reassurance. His winning goal against Leicester was symbolic in deciding the best-ever title race.”