“ If Manchester City recruits well, it will fill this gap ”: Jamie Carragher warns Liverpool that they will face a “ really close ” title race next season … but only if Pep Guardiola finally replaces Vincent Kompany this summer
- Manchester City 23 points behind Liverpool ahead of Thursday night’s game
- Jamie Carragher thinks Pep Guardiola’s team will fight better in the next term
- Former Reds defender expects City to make more transfer than Liverpool
- Carragher says they must replace Vincent Kompany and strengthen the defense
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 have fled to the league this season and last week were crowned champions with seven games left.
The City players will give Jordan Henderson and Co an honor guard when the two teams meet at the Etihad on Thursday night, the hosts edging their rivals by a whopping 23 points in the game.
Virgil van Dijk and his Liverpool teammates celebrate after winning the Premier League title
Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling will challenge next season
Carragher, however, believes next season will offer a much closer title race, especially if City strengthens in key areas when the transfer window reopens.
The former Reds defender told Midweek Sky Sports Football Podcast: “There are 23 points between the teams but I don’t see the gap as being so big.
“ There is no doubt that Liverpool have the advantage, but I certainly don’t think there will be so much between the teams next season.
“I think City will want to put a marker and win the game.
“ When City are at their best, they are almost unstoppable, but one of the few teams that can stop them is Liverpool, so I think it will be a brilliant match to watch.
“ It would have been nice if there was a little more riding on it, so that Liverpool could seal [the title] against City.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher thinks City will fight for title for next term
“But I don’t think there are too many things between the teams. We have seen it this season, but I don’t expect to see it next season because I think City is too good a team and Guardiola is too good a manager to have a gap like this between one of his teams and someone else.
“I think a lot [come down to] which City recruits.
“There is no doubt that City will do much more on the market than Liverpool. I think if City recruits well it will fill the gap we have seen this season and then it will depend on how Liverpool treats it.
Carragher believes that City’s main downfall this season has been its defense. Pep Guardiola’s team conceded 33 goals this quarter against 21 for Liverpool.
A serious injury to Aymeric Laporte hurt City’s title hopes earlier in the season, while the fitness and physical form of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi were a concern for Guardiola.
And according to Carragher, the former boss of Barcelona must finally replace former captain Vincent Kompany if he wants to get his hands on the trophy next year.
Vincent Kompany starred when City won the Premier League title last season
“Man City is a better team than Liverpool with the ball. Your eye tells you, but you can also see the statistics in terms of goals scored, ” added Carragher.
“The big problem is the number of goals conceded by City compared to Liverpool. This is the big difference between the two teams.
“I think the central defender issue has been a problem for City all season. They must rectify the loss of Kompany. If they add to this position, they could certainly close the gap and narrow it next year. “