Premier League Overview: Predicted contenders for the title
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Manchester City could blow away Liverpool in the Premier League title race because of Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips, Manchester United icon Gary Neville believes. Neville thinks City’s three main signings have all made Pep Guardiola’s side better, which could prompt them to retain the title by a ‘big amount of points’.
City have made a profit on refreshing their squad this summer. Haaland, Alvarez and Phillips have all joined, while the likes of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have departed.
The 21-year-old striker Haaland has been tipped for big things by Neville, who claims that the Norwegian will be the main difference between City winning the league by a point last term, and them recording a bigger margin come May 2023. Fellow arrivals Alvarez and Phillips will also play a major role.
“It’s something they needed [the signing of Haaland]. They won the league last year, but they had to take the risk of [not] signing a centre forward,” Neville said.
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“There were teething problems last weekend [in the Community Shield], the timing of the way in which he plays. The timing of seeing his runs, when he runs, particularly his movements in the box but certainly his movements in behind defenders.
“There were moments last week where he did make movements in behind Liverpool’s high line and he wasn’t spotted. But I can’t see how he’s going to be anything other than sensational. I did say that about [Romelu] Lukaku at Chelsea – I thought that was a no-brainer. There is a small chance that for some reason, Haaland’s style doesn’t suit City or City’s style doesn’t suit Haaland, there’s a small chance.
“But I just think the quality of players that are around him, he’s committed, he’s lived here before. So, all those risks you ordinarily talk about with a big signing [aren’t there]. The only [problem] really is injury. But for me, it can’t not work, but I did think that about Lukaku at Chelsea.”
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Neville continued on the Overlap, in partnership with SkyBet: “I just think the way City go about their business is unbelievable. To almost break even and bring in the three players they have. The boy Alvarez, if you speak to people around City or around here, they reckon he’s going to be absolutely top class. And that scares me because these people, to be fair, are knowledgeable, the ones you speak to.
“That’s the scary thing, they let [Raheem] Sterling go because they think Alvarez is going to be a top player. They’ve got Haaland and then they get Kalvin Phillips who’s almost slipped in. He’s going to make them better as well.”
Asked who will win the Premier League title, the former England right-back concluded: “Last season we had a title race and I think Liverpool were at absolute breakneck, giving everything to hang in there until the end. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if this season, if they do win it by a big amount of points.”
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