Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes Liverpool will be the biggest threat to Man City’s Premier League crown next campaign.
Pep Guardiola’s side were crowned champions for the fifth time in six years yesterday after Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
The only season Man City haven’t won it since 2018 is in 2020, when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool ran out winners. The Reds pushed City close last campaign, taking the title race to the last day.
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But their challenge collapsed early this season and Liverpool are now set to miss out on top four.
Arsenal have been Man City’s biggest challengers, while Man United flirted with doing so for a matter of weeks in January.
But Neville claims Liverpool are the only side that have proven they can take on – and beat – City.
Asked who is best placed to challenge Man City, Neville said: ‘The team that got the alignment of quality and mentality.
‘Manchester City’s players here have real quality, that goes without saying. But in the most difficult moments of the season in the Premier League they’re able to put a run together and come through difficult challenges. That takes a lot. It takes a manager who can guide them through moments and bring them that stability. The other clubs have got to look at that same model.
‘It happened for many years under Sir Alex Ferguson. It happened with Liverpool under Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly, under great managers like Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. You’ve got to be a great manager and you’ve got to have a great bunch of players to be able to do it consistently like they have. The other teams have got to aspire to that.
‘At this moment in time the one who have proven it over the last six years is Liverpool. I know Arsenal have run City close this year but the only team that I can say at the moment that have demonstrated that they can go close to Guardiola’s City is Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
‘I know they’ve dropped well below their standards this season but you don’t know whether they will get back to those standards next season, because they’ve proven they can do that before.’