Man Utd's slim title hopes may rest on Paul Pogba form, says Gary Neville

"The slim chance Man Utd have to win this league will depend on something like Paul Pogba delivering a cameo of two or three months of brilliance, which he is capable of"; Manchester United third favourites with bookies despite sitting top of the Premier League

Paul Pogba  PA
Image: Paul Pogba may hold the key for Man Utd's slim title hopes, says Gary Neville

Paul Pogba may hold the key for Manchester United's slim Premier League title hopes, Gary Neville insists in his latest podcast.

Despite sitting top of the Premier League in a bizarre season, Manchester United are currently third favourites with the bookies to win their first title since 2013.

Pogba has been given a run in the side by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and after hitting the winner at Burnley in midweek, the Frenchman again had the chance to be the matchwinner at Liverpool on Super Sunday, seeing a late effort saved by Alisson in the goalless draw.

Neville, speaking in his latest podcast, says title winners need the belief and positive arrogance that Pogba possesses, and insists if United are to win it, it will be down to a run of special form from the midfielder, if he can find it.

Download the Gary Neville Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox | Spreaker

Paul Pogba PA
Image: Neville: "He's got confidence, he's got arrogance - good arrogance, in a sense that he believes in himself"

"I think Manchester United's chances of winning this league are slim - Liverpool and Man City are still the best two teams in this league.

"But the slim chance they have to win this league will depend on something like Paul Pogba delivering a cameo of two or three months of brilliance, which he is capable of.

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"He's got confidence, he's got arrogance - good arrogance, in a sense that he believes in himself. He thinks he should be playing in the biggest games in the world, and winning titles, and thinking positive thoughts, thinking you're the best is a big thing when you're looking to win.

"Just in that last 20 minutes, I felt United just had that little bit of missing belief. It's not a long way away, but that's the bit that will stop them winning the title.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba reacts after a missed chance during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. 2:14
Roy Keane says Paul Pogba will be disappointed not to have scored when presented with a great opportunity in the second half against Liverpool

"I thought it was tough for him on Sunday. I've seen it over the years, where Sir Alex Ferguson had to put Wayne Rooney or Danny Welbeck out on that right-hand side, and it's not easy when you don't play there, to play there. It's easier to come off the left onto your right and slip inside, but it's not natural for them on that right wing, so I thought he was given a tough gig on Sunday in terms of his natural position.

"If you asked Paul Pogba: you can play any position in midfield or any up front, that's the one he wouldn't pick, right of midfield. I didn't criticise his performance at Anfield because I thought it was a tough gig - the same with Rashford, who prefers to play on the left - but I do think he can have a big influence on United."

'Steps to become regular title challengers? Belief, and two players'

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Roy Keane, Micah Richards and Graeme Souness discuss who their favourites are to win the Premier League title

Asked how Manchester United can go from their current state to regular, consistent Premier League title challengers, Neville says there are two positions in particular that would need improving.

"I look at the game on Sunday and think: how do you go from that to becoming title winners? I think one area is that United need to push up the pitch a bit more, up in the game a bit more. If you look at Liverpool, even with Fabinho and Henderson in defence, they are well up the pitch, on the halfway line.

"One more area is that the right-hand side is a problem. Juan Mata has played there, Dan James has, Paul Pogba has, Marcus Rashford has, Van de Beek's played there, Greenwood's played there, and nobody has cemented it.

"We know Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted that right-wing position filled in the summer, and he didn't get it, and it's just posing a little bit of a problem. If there was a goalscoring right winger in that squad today, with Rashford and Martial, that I think would be a difference. So a centre-back that gets them up the pitch that 10 yards, and a right winger, they are the two positions I'd focus on.

"We know Liverpool's problems were a centre-back and a goalkeeper, and they signed Virgil van Dijk and Alisson. Manchester United just need that little bit of belief, and a couple extra players, and they're not as far away as it looks if City and Liverpool stay at this standard and don't jump back up to that 100-point standard."

Download the Gary Neville Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox | Spreaker

'United managed Anfield well'

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the goalless draw between Liverpool and Manchester United in the Premier League

United were solid at Anfield on Sunday, restricting Liverpool's front three to only a handful of half-chances. Despite feeling Liverpool were there for the taking, Neville believes it was a step forward for Solskjaer's side given their performances in recent years in this fixture.

"Definitely surprised - every Man Utd fan is having a good time. To say eight weeks, 10 weeks ago, that Man Utd would be top of the league in January, you'd say not a chance. The performance levels weren't there, they were inconsistent and out of Europe.

"But the resilience and spirit is starting to get better. That was a pretty good performance from Man Utd. I'm torn a little bit, because I thought it was there for the taking. I think Man Utd fans who still have the Sir Alex Ferguson period in their memory will think: We should have gone for them. But actually, it's a big step forward in comparison to where they've been over recent years.

"They managed it well, were controlled, had the best to chances, and could have won the game. Anfield, it's always been a nightmare to play. This is the toughest place to play for Man Utd. Liverpool have a mesmerising record here.

"It was important with two or three minutes to go that Liverpool didn't score, because Ole would have been criticised for not going for it earlier."

'City now tipped for title'

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Roy Keane, Micah Richards and Graeme Souness discuss who their favourites are to win the Premier League title

Having tipped Liverpool at the beginning of the season and throughout the campaign so far, Neville now believes Manchester City are favourites to take back the crown.

"The title race is swinging back and forward. City are dangerous and emerging, and look like their form is good. Are Liverpool hitting their own standard? No.

"City just look like they're getting to a level where, if they maintain it, they could cause damage in this league. They're in a really good moment where confidence is good. But like most teams this season, it's been short-lived. It's been four or five weeks and then teams have that dip.

"Who is going to have that consistent run? I've said Liverpool all season, but I would transfer it to Man City now looking at the way they're playing. Liverpool aren't going to get Van Dijk back quickly, and then they can't get Fabinho into midfield.

"We've got an intriguing league, the most intriguing league where it looks like it can flip from one week to the other.

"The Premier League is providing one of the only bits of respite, along with walking and cycling, in the country, plus other football as well obviously. It's providing so much entertainment at home."

Download the Gary Neville Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox | Spreaker

What's next?

Live Premier League

Liverpool now host Burnley on Thursday evening, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 8pm, before going to Manchester United in the FA Cup at 5pm on Sunday.

Before that FA Cup clash, Manchester United are at Fulham in the Premier League at 8.15pm on Wednesday night.

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