Jamie Carragher on Liverpool, Granit Xhaka, Marcus Rashford and Frank Lampard

Tune into the monthly Kings of the Premier League show on Sky Sports this Friday to find out who is crowned King of the Month, brought to you by Budweiser - official beer partner of the Premier League


Jamie Carragher is a guest on this month's Kings of the Premier League show, sponsored by Budweiser, which you can watch on Friday, and he gave his opinions on some of the hot talking points involving Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Ahead of Liverpool vs Arsenal and Chelsea vs Manchester United in the Carabao Cup - live on Sky Sports on Wednesday - read on for Carragher's verdict on key matters at each club...

Kings Of The Premier League

Liverpool's stunning start

They've started brilliantly, on the back of what they did last season in the Champions League. But it might be difficult to replicate what they did, in terms of the 97 points to almost win the Premier League.

At this moment, you'd probably have to say they're slight favourites for the title. But I can't help but think City will come back and go on a winning run.

Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp manager / head coach of Liverpool celebrate at full time during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on May 4, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Image: Liverpool top the Premier League by six points

Both teams were in the same position last year and City came back at them. If Liverpool could win the City game, not just for the points, but psychologically, that would put them in a great position.

In this moment, Liverpool are slight favourites, if they were to reach the international break on the back of two wins, that would put them nine points clear. They'd take some stopping then, they'd be big favourites.

If Liverpool could win the City game, not just for the points, but psychologically, that would put them in a great position.
Jamie Carragher

Xhaka and the Arsenal captaincy

This decision [to make Xhaka captain] was made at the start of the season and I don't see anyone else in that squad as captain material. Xhaka is captain of his country. But I think the way they decided the captain was wrong, the players voting on it.

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What that does tell you is what the players think of him. So the players in the dressing room think he should be the captain. He probably is the best player to have the captaincy. For those two reasons, really.

I think it will be difficult for him to keep [the armband] now, though. It might be better for the club and the atmosphere around the team and the stadium for him to lose it.

Granit Xhaka should be stripped of the Arsenal captaincy, according to Charlie Nicholas
Image: Granit Xhaka should be stripped of the Arsenal captaincy, according to Charlie Nicholas

But there is no one else in the squad that has more captain material, although I don't think he's the greatest player, he's had a poor season.

Sometimes, if you're struggling to pick a captain, you give it to the best player, in which case, give it to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

David Luiz is not my cup of tea as a player, but he is a leader in some ways. He's got a big personality. I can imagine the younger lads in the dressing room looking up at him. He's a big character, he's won big things, he's played at big clubs, with Brazil in World Cups, so he could be an option.

So those two, really... but I wouldn't want either as captain to be honest!

Can Rashford be Man Utd's main striker?

Is Marcus Rashford a wide striker or a real No 9? I think Anthony Martial coming back might help, take some of the pressure off.

It's like United see Martial as a left-winger and Rashford as a striker, but Martial wants to play centre-forward and Rashford wants to play on the left. I think that's how they should set up, Martial through the middle and Rashford to the left.

Marcus Rashford celebrates after doubling Manchester United's lead
Image: Marcus Rashford celebrates after doubling Man Utd's lead at Norwich

Both were outstanding against Norwich. Rashford got the goal against Liverpool - their biggest rivals - with a lovely finish.

Even without goals, he's a major threat with his pace, and you'd see more of that pace coming from the left because he's actually facing forward. A lot of the time, when you're through the middle, you've got your back to the play.

I'm not sure if Rashford will ever be an out-and-out centre-forward, he'll just mix between the two.

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Solskjaer's future

I don't think Manchester United should be thinking about changing their manager any time this season. I think they've got a big decision to make about whether he should be the manager for the start of next season.

No one starts the season thinking they're going to change the manager, it's too much upheaval. Who do you bring in? You've bought players.

So the best time to change your manager is at the end of the season, or towards the end and give the next manager a full pre-season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds the fans at Old Trafford
Image: Man Utd are 15 points behind league-leaders Liverpool

So United need to ask if they want Ole for this season and the whole of next season. If they do, that's fine. But what they don't want to do is, next season, in September or October, if they make a bad start, then think 'what do we do?'

If you think you would get rid of a manager after a bad start next season, change it before. No problem this season, but, maybe, when the summer comes, would you go with Ole again?

But if he has a good season, finishes strongly, does well in the cups, of course, keep him in there.

Chelsea youngsters excelling

I was a bit worried about Chelsea at the start of the season. A young manager, not much experience. They'd lost the best player in the league, in Eden Hazard, and they couldn't bring players in.

We know they've had a great youth team for years. They were going to give them a chance. But they haven't just taken that chance, they look like proper, top players.

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You're thinking, in two or three years' time, this could be really special. A team with homegrown players. You think of what Manchester United did all those years ago.

But there's no doubt, over the next few years, that will have to be supplemented with superstars to challenge for the league again. I don't see them challenging this season.

Chelsea's young players haven't just taken that chance, they look like proper, top players.
Jamie Carragher

If they finish in the top four this season, Frank Lampard has done a brilliant job. I wouldn't be surprised if they picked up a cup competition. It really does look like exciting times.

The brilliant thing is, the supporters are loving it. Even at the start of the season, when they were having a few iffy results, everyone was still behind it, because they hadn't seen this before - young players coming through.

So that helped Frank. He always had the support of the crowd and the media, because they couldn't buy a player, so he was always going to get that little bit longer.

From a Liverpool point of view, you're thinking, what a result that was, going to Chelsea and winning. You wouldn't want to go to Chelsea now.

Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham celebrate after Chelsea go 2-1 up
Image: Chelsea's youngsters have hit the ground running under Frank Lampard

We mustn't forget, they lost the best attacker, in Hazard, they've been without their best midfielder, in N'Golo Kante - he's hardly played - and their best defender is Antonio Rudiger, and he's barely played.

Think how strong they will be when those players return. One experienced centre-back alongside a young one. Kante, who is as good as any midfielder in the world. Get those two back and I'm pretty confident they will finish in the top four.

Kings of the Premier League on Sky Sports

Sky Sports presenter Adam Smith and two guests will build an ultimate XI from the top-performing players over the past month, armed with stats-based rankings and votes from the fans.

This month, Smithy is joined by Carragher and grime artist Yungen. The guys will be pitting stats against gut, comparing results from the statistical Power Rankings with fans' votes for Kings of the Match on the Premier League website.

Do the Premier League's statistical leaders make the cut in this month's XI, or do the fans' favourites earn starting berths? Tune into Sky Sports Premier League at 8pm on Friday to find out.

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Follow the Carabao Cup across Sky Sports

On Wednesday, there will be two Carabao Cup games live on Sky Sports. Liverpool host Arsenal - live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm; Kick-off 7.30pm - while Manchester United visit Chelsea - live on Sky Sports Main Event, also from 7pm; Kick-off 8.05pm.

Soccer Special will also be live from 7.30pm on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Premier League, with live blog coverage across Sky Sports' digital platforms from 6.30pm. There will also be free highlights of each game available after full-time.

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