‘If Manchester City recruit well, it will bridge that gap’: Jamie Carragher insists Liverpool will face a ‘really tight’ title race next season… but only if Pep Guardiola finally replaces Vincent Kompany this summer
- Manchester City are 23 points behind Liverpool ahead of Thursday night’s game
- Jamie Carragher believes Pep Guardiola’s side will put up a better fight next term
- Former Reds defender expects City to do more transfer business than Liverpool
- Carragher says they must replace Vincent Kompany and strengthen the defence
Jamie Carragher expects Manchester City to seriously challenge Liverpool for the Premier League title next season – but only if they ‘recruit well’ this summer.
Jurgen Klopp’s men ran away with the league this season and last week were crowned champions with seven matches still to play.
City’s players will give Jordan Henderson and Co a guard of honour when the two teams meet at the Etihad on Thursday night, with the hosts trailing their rivals by a massive 23 points going into the game.
Virgil van Dijk and his Liverpool team-mates celebrate after winning the Premier League title
Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling will look to challenge next season
Carragher, however, believes next season will provide a much closer title race, especially if City strengthen in key areas when the transfer window reopens.
The former Reds defender told the Sky Sports Football Midweek Preview Podcast: ‘There’s 23 points between the teams but I don’t see the gap as being that big.
‘There’s no doubt that Liverpool have the edge, but I certainly don’t think there will be that much between the teams next season.
‘I think City will want to put a marker down and win the game.
‘When City are at their best, they’re almost unstoppable, but one of the few teams that can stop them are Liverpool, so I think it will be a brilliant game to watch.
‘It would have been nice if there was a little bit more riding on it, for Liverpool to be able seal [the title] against City.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes City will challenge for the title next term
‘But I don’t think there’s too much between the teams. We’ve seen it this season, but I don’t expect to see it next season because I think City are too good a team and Guardiola is too good a manager to have a gap like that between one of his teams and someone else’s.
‘I think a lot of it will [come down to] who City recruit.
‘There’s no doubt that City will do a lot more in the market than Liverpool will. I think if City recruit well, it will bridge that gap that we’ve seen this season and then it becomes about how Liverpool deal with that.’
Carragher believes City’s major downfall this season has been their defence. Pep Guardiola’s side have conceded 33 goals this term compared to Liverpool’s 21.
A serious injury to Aymeric Laporte dented City’s title hopes earlier in the season, while the form and fitness of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi has been a concern for Guardiola.
And according to Carragher, the ex-Barcelona boss must finally replace former captain Vincent Kompany if he is to get his hands back on the trophy next year.
Vincent Kompany played a starring role as City won the Premier League title last season
‘Man City are a better team than Liverpool with the ball. Your own eye tells you that, but you can also look at the stats in terms of goals scored,’ Carragher added.
‘The big problem is how many goals City have conceded compared to Liverpool. That’s the big difference between the two teams.
‘I think the centre-backs issue was a problem for City all season. They need to rectify having lost Kompany. If they add in that position, they could certainly bridge the gap and make it really tight next year.’
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