Date: 13th September 2018 at 11:45am
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Gary Neville shared that Liverpool have a real chance of competing with Manchester City for the Premier League title if they put their Champions League ambitions on hold.

The former Manchester United defender shared in an interview with The Times that he was predicting a genuine two-horse race for the title this season but if he was the Reds, he’d sacrifice doing well in the Champions League in order to give themselves a better chance at winning England’s top-flight.

Neville shared that he thought the Reds’ method was exhausting for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, which would mean that they would feel the effects of playing the way they currently do as the season went on.

“The Champions League — if I was Liverpool, I would kick it into touch,” Neville said, as quoted by The Times.

“I know that’s very hard to do but if they could go into February, March, April without it, I think they could have a real chance if they had free weeks.

“Why? I think their method is exhausting for the front three [Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino].”

“The drop in quality below them, if there are injuries or playing Wednesday, Saturday, I think it will take its toll.”

OPINION

Jurgen Klopp has prepared his squad to be able to compete on several fronts as he does have the luxury of deploying Daniel Sturridge, Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi, if needs be, in order to rest Reds’ rampant attacking trio. While competing in multiple competitions can be intense and taxing on any team, no matter their style of football, after going so close to lifting the Champions League trophy last season, it would be weird for the Reds to not target success in the competition. While Neville’s logic is sound as to why he suggests the prestigious tournament should take a backseat this season, it not worth doing. The Reds know they are capable of lifting multiple trophies this season and they would be left with egg on their face if they drop the ball in the Champions League only to fail to win the Premier League also. Therefore while the pundit hasn’t made the comment because of not wanting the Reds to do well due to his Man United connection, Klopp shouldn’t heed his advice.