Jamie Carragher backs Liverpool to retain their Premier League title IF they buy a centre back in January to plug the hole left by Virgil Van Dijk as former Reds defender predicts VERY close race with Manchester City
The former Reds defender has called what he said will be a very tight race between last season’s champions and Manchester City in his old club’s favour, but made clear that his prediction was contingent on Liverpool plugging the growing hole in the middle of defence.
Right now, according to Carragher, that hole is the difference between Liverpool lifting this season’s trophy in May, or City doing so.
Virgil Van Dijk ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the Merseyside derby against Everton
‘I think if Liverpool buy a centre back, and a good one, in January, I think they’ll take some stopping, I really do,’ Carragher said in an interview with The Gary Newbon Sports Show on Punching.TV.
‘Defensively, they have injury problems in that position (centre back), and if they rectify that in January, I think Liverpool would be my favourites.
‘But right now I think it’s 50/50 between them and Man City because of Liverpool’s injuries and the setback of Virgil Van Dijk.’
Talismanic defender Van Dijk ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the Merseyside derby against Everton last month following a challenge by Jordan Pickford. He has since undergone successful surgery but is expected to miss the rest of Liverpool’s season.
Joe Gomez suffered a serious knee injury while training on England duty earlier this week
Trent Alexander-Arnold is also facing a month out after picking up a calf injury last weekend
In addition, his centre back partner Joe Gomez suffered a serious knee injury while training on England duty this week and is also expected to miss a large part of this campaign.
Liverpool’s defence is further reeling from the calf injury sustained by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City last weekend. He is expected to be sidelined for four weeks.
Carragher said while he expected Liverpool and Man City to ‘show themselves to be the two strongest in the league’ once again, he believed the clubs chasing behind them will be closer to the mark than they were last season.
‘I just don’t think there’ll be as big a gap between them (Liverpool and City) and the rest as we’ve seen in the last couple of years,’ he added.
Carragher said he would ‘love’ the Premier League to stay as exciting as it is at the moment
Liverpool’s 7-2 loss to Aston Villa is one of many shocking league results so far this season
The former England defender added that he has thoroughly enjoyed the helter-skelter nature of the Premier League right now, with several teams being top of the league at various points over recent weeks.
‘That was great for the league, so many people could enjoy it,’ he said.
‘That’s what I’d love the Premier League to be like.
‘Where there wasn’t so much a top six and the rest, (that) everyone was mixed in with each other, it was really tight between every position, and that’s what we’ve got right now.’