Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey believes it is too early to class Jurgen Klopp’s new-look side as title contenders but that is not a view shared by former Premier League midfielder Robbie Savage.
The Reds were beaten for the first time in the league last weekend as they lost 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur following a stoppage-time Joel Matip own-goal and VAR controversy that incorrectly ruled out Luis Diaz’s strike.
Liverpool finished the game with nine men but almost held on for an admirable point. They sit two points behind City who have won six of their opening seven games with Spurs in second and Arsenal in third, with the North London pair just a point behind first place.
Manchester United acadey graduate Savage believes the title race will come down to just three teams - Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal - but feels the Reds have the edge over the Gunners having already won a league title under Jurgen Klopp.
“In the last five years only Manchester City and Liverpool have won the Premier League title, so Liverpool have experience in a title race,” Savage told Planet Sport Bet. “I think the way they’ve recruited in galvanising that midfield makes them dangerous. Granted they might not have a world class number six, but there’s a lot of energy in there now and the squad looks deep with plenty of quality players on the bench; we saw that with what Darwin Nunez did against Newcastle.
“I think they’ve got a real opportunity [of being title contenders]. I don’t think Man City are as strong this season and alongside Arsenal, who have improved the squad again, I see it as a three-horse race this season.
“Jurgen Klopp and his recruitment department deserve an awful lot of credit for what they’ve done in the transfer market. They’ve signed really well and you have to remember that Jurgen Klopp knows what it takes to win a Premier League title, Mikel Arteta doesn’t and that’s a big advantage.”
Meanwhile Heskey admits he is not yet convinced Liverpool can match City this season after making big changes to their squad over the summer.
“I’ve been hugely impressed with Liverpool so far, because they’ve brought in a number of new players who have actually settled down really quickly,” he said. “The difficult thing about bringing new players in is you’re always waiting six months to a year for them to bed in, but these new players, such as Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, have really bedded in well, which is great for Liverpool. And the front line now has an abundance of quality players to call upon that are doing well, which is exciting.”
Heskey told altindex.com: ”But can Liverpool challenge for the title this season? I’m not totally convinced they can because with Manchester City in this division they’d have to be looking at securing 90/95+ points to beat them, which I think will be a step too far. It’s a tough one. But I expect next season they will be challenging for the title with the progress they’re making.”