Liverpool legend John Barnes feels Manchester City are still the favorites to win the Premier League this season. The Englishman, though, expects the title race to go to the wire, with the Reds strong enough to compete on all fronts.
Pep Guardiola's side enjoyed a 14-point lead at the top of the Premier League table at one point in January. However, the Anfield outfit reduced the gap to one point just before the international break.
With just nine more games remaining in the season, we have a neck-and-neck title race on our hands. Jurgen Klopp's side face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in what could be the title decider on April 10th.
Looking ahead to the final stretch of the league campaign, Barnes explained that he expects the title contenders to win most of their remaining matches. The Anfield great feels the Reds' trip to the Etihad Stadium will be the decider, but believes Guardiola and Co are still in the driving seat. He told BonusCodeBets [via The Daily Star]:
"City haven’t been playing badly, despite the fact they drew the other day when they should have won. I can see both teams winning the vast majority of their games left this season. It’s the game that they play one another which will be the decider. City are at home and they are still in the driving seat. I’d make City the slight favorites, but Liverpool have a much better chance than they did six weeks ago."
Barnes is also of the view that the international break will not affect the Reds' momentum going into the final stretch of the season. He is confident that his former employers are capable of competing on all fronts now. He said:
"The international break will not mean that Liverpool won’t go into their next fixture with any momentum. Liverpool have a strong enough squad now to compete at all levels, in all competitions. But both Liverpool and City are playing consistently well and it will go down to the wire.”
Klopp and Co have 69 points to their name from 29 Premier League matches. Manchester City, on the other hand, have earned 70 points from the same number of games.
Liverpool and Manchester City also face each other in FA Cup
Apart from their clash in the Premier League, the title contenders will also face each other in the FA Cup. They are scheduled to lock horns in the semi-finals of the competition on April 16th.
They could also meet each other in the UEFA Champions League. Both clubs have made their way into the quarter-finals of the competition and could play each other in the final.
Manchester City have pitted against Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals and will face Chelsea or Real Madrid in the semi-finals if they get through. The Reds, on the other hand, face Benfica in the quarter-finals and will face Bayern Munich or Villarreal in the final four.