Liverpool are playing at a level which could win the Premier League, says Gary Neville
Neville has concerns for Manchester City following the injury sustained by Aymeric Laporte at the weekend
Last Updated: 02/09/19 11:01pm
Gary Neville thinks Liverpool are playing at a level which could win them the Premier League title this season - and fears Aymeric Laporte's injury could prove costly for Manchester City.
Liverpool continued their 100 per cent start to the season with a 3-0 win at Burnley on Saturday evening, ensuring they head into the international break two points ahead of City at the top of the Premier League.
Sky Sports' Neville, speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, has been impressed with Jurgen Klopp's side's start to the season.
Liverpool look hungrier than ever
Liverpool were impressive in beating Burnley 3-0 at Turf Moor. Any fears that Jurgen Klopp's team would struggle to sustain the form they showed last season are already being dispelled, writes Adam Bate.
"I was watching Liverpool at Burnley and I had that feeling," the former Manchester United defender said.
"I said last year I thought they were a championship team. They are a championship team. They are playing at a level that could win the title.
"You watched them at Burnley, and they weren't brilliant in the first 20 minutes, but they go and get a goal and then a second goal.
"You talk about the clinical element of a team. The defensive bit is right, the attacking bit is right, and the midfield looks solid and experienced. They are a title-winning team and they were last year, essentially with what they did."
Manchester City have also started the defence of their title in impressive fashion.
Pep Guardiola's side, who are second in the table, have swept aside West Ham, Bournemouth and Brighton, with a 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham the only blemish so far on the record of the champions.
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However, Neville has concerns about City following the knee injury sustained by defender Laporte in the win over Brighton at the weekend, especially with Vincent Kompany not at the club anymore and summer target Harry Maguire instead at Manchester United.
Laporte went down under a challenge from Brighton centre-back Adam Webster in the 34th minute of the match at the Etihad Stadium. The Frenchman was then stretchered off after receiving medical attention on his knee and was replaced by holding midfielder Fernandinho.
After the game Guardiola revealed the defender could be out for a "while".
"If Laporte's injury is a serious one, it is a big problem for City," Neville said.
"I said a few weeks ago that I was struggling to understand why City didn't follow through on Harry Maguire with Vincent Kompany leaving the club.
"I thought Kompany won them the league in the last 10 matches of last season when he played in all those games. Forget the Leicester moment which was just spectacular, I thought his leadership held them together at a time when Liverpool were applying pressure like you wouldn't believe.
"In terms of that leader-type figure, I think Laporte has got that.
"It doesn't look good. I don't know right now what he has but we will know tomorrow. They're diagnosing what he has right now. I'm waiting for the doctor to call me. He might be out for a while"
Pep Guardiola on Laporte's injury
"I think this will cost City points," he added. "To be fair, there is no one better in the world at coaching than Pep Guardiola, full stop. And there is no one better at making what would be make-shift centre-backs play well.
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"I watched two Champions League finals where Barcelona had Javier Mascherano and Yaya Toure playing centre-back against Manchester United. So, I'm not going to sit here and make the mistake of thinking Guardiola can't turn a Fernandinho or a Kyle Walker into a top centre-back because they have that much of the ball during games.
"What I would say is that if Laporte is out for a long time, I think it will cost City points because he is a dominant centre-back. I saw him in Spain three times and he's a great player. It's a real worry for City.
"Maguire would've been ideal. Manchester United did well to get him but I am surprised City didn't really go for him alongside United. Maybe they did and they just pulled out because of the money in the end or whatever it was.
"I just think with Kompany leaving, he was Belgian, but he was an old-fashioned throw your head at it centre-back in both boxes that when you go to certain grounds in the Premier league you play.
"When balls flew into the box and the pressure-built, Vincent Kompany stood tall and made sure they all left.
"That's the one downer out of the weekend for City and if I was a City fan it would worry me in the short-term and the medium-term, depending on how long he was out for."