Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Reds player ratings
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Phil Thompson believes that there is one Manchester City player who will tilt the title race away from Liverpool this season as the Reds look to reclaim the title that they worked so hard to win in 2019/20.
Jurgen Klopp’s men romped to the title by 18 points in the Covid-interrupted campaign two seasons ago to claim their first Premier League trophy.
But after an injury crisis last season, the Merseyside outfit only managed to scrape third place – a brilliant achievement considering they had key players out consistently throughout the campaign but still less than they had hoped for at the start of the year.
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Alisson and Jordan Henderson spent prolonged periods on the injury table, but it did not deter the Reds – and Thompson believes they can challenge for the title once again.
“Liverpool will be far better with the players that are coming back,” he said to Paddy Power News.
“It’ll change the dynamic of how Liverpool will play, with just van Dijk there offensively rather than defensively.
“If everybody stays fit, we (Liverpool) can compete with anybody. If Chelsea continue their good form, and Manchester United’s signings have a big impact, they could both have good seasons too.”
Yet, despite the return of their best players, there is one signing that Thompson believes will drag City over the line against Liverpool – Jack Grealish. The playmaker quit Aston Villa in the summer with his move to Manchester breaking the British transfer record.
Grealish signed for City from Villa in August for £100million and has enjoyed a brilliant start to life in Manchester.
And, with Thompson in awe of the talented No 10, he believes Grealish’s addition will be the difference for City.
Thompson continued: “Before Grealish signed, I would have said Liverpool are a good shout for the title, but now he has made all the difference to City’s title challenge.
“He’d walk straight into Liverpool’s team, he’s that good. I’d say Manchester City are ready to compete for the title again with Jack Grealish, just imagine if Harry Kane had signed too!
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“I would have to say Grealish is the signing of the summer. I was hoping that Liverpool would be in for him, but £100million took it beyond most teams except for Manchester City.”
Liverpool continue their campaign in an away tie against Leeds United after the international break, whilst City take on an equally tough tie away at Leicester City.
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