Will Manchester City or Liverpool win the Premier League title?
Sunday Supplement journalists debate title race
Last Updated: 09/12/18 11:22pm
Who will win the Premier League title this season? Did Manchester City show signs of vulnerability in their defeat to Chelsea? Where do Liverpool need to improve?
After Liverpool went top of the league on Saturday, journalists Andy Dunn, Jason Burt and Jonathan Northcroft debated the title race and more on the Sunday Supplement.
Here's what they had to say…
'City show vulnerability'
Andy Dunn, Daily Mirror chief sports writer: "City's defeat to Chelsea was a significant moment. I haven't seen City like this for a long time in the Premier League. I remember when they were beaten at Anfield for the first time last season and you wondered how they would respond, and they did so by winning seven and drawing one of their next eight games. You shouldn't have any worries about how they will respond, but it was a reminder that in individual games you can get at them.
"They had key players missing. That intense style will take its toll physically, so they can be vulnerable, and when they hadn't scored in the first half hour of dominance yesterday they will vulnerable. In the games that will decide the title - the games between the big six - and Chelsea showed that any of those teams can beat Manchester City which means the title will be in the balance for longer than people might have thought.
"Liverpool have won the league 18 times and they have never had as good a start after 16 games. That tells you this is for real. They are top of the table and we are not far off halfway. I think it will be a fascinating battle between the top two and we are in for a second half of the season that will be one of the best we have seen in recent memory.
'Liverpool need midfield to click'
Jonathan Northcroft, Sunday Times football correspondent: "There is possibly an element of Liverpool being under-rated as the football hasn't been as champagne as last season, but I think they will be quite happy that there isn't quite the same bandwagon.
"Liverpool have had problems dealing with the pressure in recent years and now it's all on City. The really encouraging thing for Liverpool yesterday was having Fabinho and Naby Keita playing. To win the title they needed more in midfield and those two are starting to make a contribution.
"They also got another clean sheet without Joe Gomez. The signs are they have a squad which is strong enough but it will come down to putting pressure on City when they have a chance to play first or it's a head-to-head match against them. City are such a good team but they are capable of rocking under a bit of pressure and it's Liverpool's job to put on as much pressure as they can.
"Very few teams retain the title. You can see Pep Guardiola in press conferences continually trying to find ways to address possible problems of complacency. He is continually fighting against it. Yesterday wasn't a story of City being complacent, it was maybe just the younger players up front not quite dealing with a more difficult game, and there are still ways to improve.
'City missed Aguero'
Jason Burt, Daily Telegraph chief football correspondent: "Sergio Aguero would have taken one of those chances in the first half an hour for City which would have changed a lot in that game. It was so one-sided for 44 minutes and then it just changed. I was surprised in the second half as City didn't seem to have something there to make you think they were going to do it, they seemed to lose some belief without Aguero up there.
"I think it will change when Aguero comes back, but yesterday proved to me, more than I thought, that he is so important to them."
Who will win the league?
Andy Dunn: "I keep changing my opinion. At the moment Liverpool would be my slight favourites. Defensively they look so good."
Jason Burt: "I think City will win it but I think Liverpool will push them close. The midfield is the area that Jurgen Klopp has to get right. If he can get that combination right and Keita and Fabinho are the players they were bought to be, then you have a team that can go a long way to winning the title."