Liverpool win at Chelsea would be blow to Manchester City, says Jamie Carragher
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Last Updated: 22/09/19 7:54am
A Liverpool win at Chelsea would be an early blow to Manchester City, says Jamie Carragher, as he and Gary Neville preview a big Super Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp's side are currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League table, having a 100 per cent record so far, after being pipped to the title by City last season by just one point.
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Their first big test of the new Premier League campaign comes on Sunday as they travel to Chelsea - live on Sky Sports - and Carragher believes a win would be another "little blow" against City early on in the title race.
"Liverpool lost the league by a point last season and you look at where they slipped up, but they only lost one game," Carragher said on Friday Night Football. "You think of the draws they had and Man City went to a lot of the top teams, the rivals, and won.
"In years gone by, if you went to a rival and drew, you'd be delighted, but it's not good enough now for the top teams or certainly if you want to go for the title. Liverpool only won at Spurs last season [away to the big six teams] and they have to improve that. Chelsea is the first place for them and it's a big away game.
"With Liverpool having a five-point lead, it is very early and I don't think it really matters too much. But to go to Chelsea and win, I think that would be a little blow for City.
"It is very early and there is months to go but when you see your rival going to a tough game and get three points, they'll be thinking 'we've still got to go there and do the same' so it is a big game for both teams obviously. But if Liverpool could get three points there, that's the area they have to improve upon from last season.
"The start of this season has been good because it feels like 10 years ago when we were playing, where - even though Gary played for one of the top teams - in the first seven or eight games, they might draw a game or lose a game and then they'd kick into gear. That happened every season.
"With City and Liverpool, especially last season, they just win from day one and it doesn't seem to change. Now though, it is all happening like a normal season and it is only Liverpool really who haven't had that hiccup early on.
"I still class Liverpool as favourites [on Sunday]. It's a tough game but if you had to pick Chelsea or Liverpool to come out on top in that game, you'd still fancy Liverpool."
There is also pressure on Frank Lampard's Chelsea, having yet to win at Stamford Bridge this season, and Neville hopes a home win could add some drama to the season early on.
"Sunday is a big game," Neville added. "The last two years have been completely unique in terms of title-winning seasons. City have been incredible, and Liverpool have been playing title-winning football for 18 months and it would be nice to see them [both] drop points.
"Not for personal reasons, but to actually see City and Liverpool drop points, it would make it more of a dramatic season where teams can get points off each other. That's what's made the Premier League famous all around the world.
"I still think Liverpool need to win a Premier League title - it is essential that they do that, particularly with this team that they've got now. I don't know how any team can handle that front three. They are absolutely magnificent.
"From a Chelsea point of view, they're going to struggle so they need to score goals. It's a really intriguing game - but I think Liverpool will win on Sunday."
'Man Utd could wilt at West Ham'
Before anything kicks off at Stamford Bridge, there is the small matter of Manchester United's trip to West Ham - also live on Sky Sports - and Neville believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will face a tough test at the London Stadium.
He said: "You look at this West Ham team and it goes back to the time of when they had the likes of Paolo Di Canio and players who you knew would step up to the big games.
"You look at Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Sebastien Haller and you can feel that the atmosphere will be hostile for Man United on Sunday. The reason those players are at West Ham is because they have quality, but they can't play at the highest level. However, they can play in those one-off games - they can play in moments in matches, and that makes West Ham really dangerous against Man United.
"If you shake this Man United team, you rattle it and cause it a problem, it can wilt a little bit. It's not quite robust enough yet to come through the really difficult moments. It will be interesting to see if Man United can cause West Ham those difficult moments on Sunday.
"It is another potentially risky game and you can drop points if you're not particularly at it. To get through it would be huge for Man United. Ole is very young at the club and the team doesn't look fully developed by any stretch of the imagination, but Sunday is a big game to continue what they have done for the last week."
Manchester United have not won any of their last 12 away games in the Premier League, and Carragher has pointed to a lack of goals as the issue.
He added: "When you go away from home, you almost expect to concede once because it is difficult to keep a clean sheet away from home, but you associate Man Utd with goals. The fact that there is a lack of goals within the team puts pressure on the back four and the goalkeeper to keep that clean sheet, which they're not doing at this moment.
"Going forward, will they be able to get enough goals which will get them where they want to go, which is into the top four or maybe a trophy."