How many teams can win the title? Will Haaland be a roaring success? Who ought to undertaking Liverpool and Man City? How do you remedy the Cristiano Ronaldo situation? Roy Keane, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Micah Richards and Jamie Redknapp reply the key questions…
Sky Sports’ soccer pundits provide us their predictions, hopes and evaluation ahead of a new Premier League campaign, with all the key questions answered.
How many groups can win the title?
Roy Keane: Just Liverpool and Man City, I assume they’re a stage ahead of each person else. We’ve considered that with recruitment. Even the sport last week, I know it is solely the Community Shield and pre-season, I just can’t see the other teams getting close to them for the title. There will be improvement at Tottenham and Manchester United have to be higher than last year, however the easy answer in terms of winning the league: Liverpool and City. I can’t see past it.
Gary Neville: Liverpool and Man City. City will definitely end in the top two. Liverpool, I usually have this little hope instead than concept that they may simply dip slightly, and then maybe Tottenham are the solely team I can see that can get close to them. I don’t sense Chelsea, United, Arsenal are in a function to get shut to the top two. The Champions League will reason a trouble for Tottenham however they’ve got some world-class strikers.
Who wins the title?
Gary Neville: Man City.
Jamie Carragher: Liverpool because of Virgil van Dijk. Every time he’s been fit and at his best Liverpool have got mid-90 points. Last season he was coming back from that cruciate injury. From Christmas onwards when he was back to his best, Liverpool looked a completely different team. If Liverpool get him at his best from the get go, they’ve got a great chance.
Micah Richards: It’s Man City’s to lose.
Roy Keane: Man City.
How does Liverpool’s and Man City’s transfer business compare?
Gary Neville: City have got stronger. Kalvin Phillips, they love Julian Alvarez and then Erling Haaland will be world-class. You just don’t know the impact of Sadio Mane leaving Liverpool and Darwin Nunez stepping into that role or Luis Diaz or Diogo Jota making up for what Mane’s done. Mane is an unbelievable player and he’s left.
There is a little bit more of a doubt about Liverpool because of that Mane factor and the fact we know he’s world-class. We don’t know yet if Nunez is going to be world-class to replace him.
Roy Keane: That’s life at the top clubs. Players come and go, brilliant players like Mane, who has been brilliant for Liverpool, but when you’re a manager you want different options, different personalities, different dynamics in the team. Liverpool have tweaked it. For all the brilliant attacking players they’ve got, if you look at the three finals last year, they didn’t score. Sometimes you have to lose a brilliant player just to bring in somebody different. A younger, maybe hungrier player. Mane clearly wanted to go, obviously he wouldn’t have left [if he didn’t] so I don’t think it’s too much of a step back for Liverpool.
The strength in depth Man City and Liverpool have is absolutely fantastic and to go with that they have two unbelievable managers. The managers always look full of energy, like they’ve never won a trophy before. If that’s going through the team, the hunger and desire, then they’ll take some stopping these two teams.
Micah Richards: Man City losing Raheem Sterling is massive. I don’t think people comprehend how big he is. Maybe in front of goal he’s not clinical but the runs he makes, he’s always running in behind and the tireless work he puts in for the team. With Haaland it’s a little bit different, he’s got to get used to the system. Then there’s Gabriel Jesus who’s left, Alvarez looks good, Phillips too. On paper it looks better but they’ve got to fit into the system and we’ve seen it with Jack Grealish last season, it wasn’t his best season, he’s got to hit the ground running this time.
Gary Neville: There’s a history at City – Rodri, Riyad Mahrez, Grealish, Bernardo Silva, it took them 12 months to get used to Pep Guardiola. It’s just whether Phillips, Haaland need 12 months but I don’t think they will.
Does Erling Haaland make Man City better?
Jamie Carragher: On another day he scores a hat-trick against Liverpool in the Community Shield. He should have scored two, at least, in that game. If I’m a City fan or Guardiola, I wouldn’t be worried about that. From a Liverpool point of view, I’d be a bit worried about the chances they gave up.
Haaland is brilliant, it makes City different but better? It’s hard to say because they scored 99 goals last season in the Premier League. They got 93 points. They always get that amount, I don’t see how they get many more than what they normally do. They’ll just be a different team.
They’ve lacked a centre-forward. Every team wants to play with a striker. The teams that don’t, a lot of the time, maybe can’t get one, don’t have a top one in the squad and there’s so many great midfield players now who can play between the lines. It will be a slightly different Man City, it has to be.
Micah Richards: Of course he makes them better because of the quality he possesses. In terms of style of play, he might not fit in straight away but look at the Real Madrid game when City needed a goal, they were kicking the ball long to defenders up top. Haaland is a unit. I’m not saying he’s going to hit the ground running but in terms of his quality, he’s got it in abundance.
Roy Keane: I thought his movement in the Community Shield was absolutely fantastic. I think he’s an amazing player and there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be a success at Man City. He’ll score bags of goals.
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