Premier League • England

Carragher predicts major Liverpool, Man City title twist looming as Champions League SF’s begin

Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola Man City v Liverpool January 2019

Jamie Carragher has claimed that either Liverpool or Manchester City could soon slip up in the Premier League title race because of the Champions League semi-finals.

The league form for both sides has proved almost perfect for some time, with neither side making any major mistakes. While City have lost their 14-point gap to the Reds, they have still not lost since mid-February.

Liverpool’s unbeaten league run stretches back further, though, to late December against Leicester. In fact, 2-2 draws with Chelsea and City are the only blotches on their record since then.

However, both teams are also still in the hunt for Champions League glory. City play Real Madrid in their semi-final first leg on Tuesday, before Liverpool host Villarreal on Wednesday.

Liverpool and City both go to Spain for their second legs next week. And in between, they play Newcastle away and Leeds away, respectively.

According to Carragher, the upcoming Premier League fixtures could spring a surprise for either team.

“For both teams, the game in-between a Champions League semi-final will take so much out of you, physically and mentally,” the pundit told Sky Sports.

“Something could happen in the next league game. I do look at the next couple of games, as I said with Everton, if Liverpool can stay in the same position getting into West Ham for Man City, it looks more favourable in Liverpool.”

City play Newcastle after their second leg with Madrid and before a trip to West Ham. Liverpool, meanwhile, face Tottenham after their second leg before travelling to Aston Villa.

Carragher was speaking after Liverpool responded to City in the latest round of the title race. City eased to a 5-1 win over Watford on Saturday to move four points clear at the summit.

Jurgen Klopp’s side subsequently struggled against a resilient Everton side on Sunday. However, Andy Robertson and Divock Origi came to the rescue to once again close the gap to one point.

Graeme Souness said when asked if Liverpool can win it: “Why not? The belief they have. They dug out a result today. They won a different type of football. If you’re going to win the league you’ve got to do that.”

Although, former Everton striker Kevin Campbell said: “I think it’s going to go down to the wire. I chose City at the start, but I think Liverpool will miss out from one point. I can see both winning now.”

Liverpool, City focused on multiple fronts

Mohamed Salah contract. Star battles Joao Cancelo of Manchester City during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester

The Champions League will indeed have a significant effect on both Liverpool and City.

City are of course seeking the first Champions League title in their history. The urge to claim triumph is even greater this season following last season’s defeat to Chelsea in the final.

Liverpool, meanwhile, can enter an exclusive club with AC Milan by winning their seventh European Cup.

Nevertheless, they have fallen short in the title race by a point before in 2018/19 – to City. They will therefore be looking to make sure that doesn’t happen again.