Paul Merson names ‘nearest threat’ to Liverpool’s Premier League title

Merson thinks United are Liverpool’s biggest title rivals (Picture: Getty Images)

Paul Merson rates Manchester United as Liverpool’s ‘nearest threat’ as they bid to retain their Premier League title.

United travel to Leicester on Boxing Day and can close the gap on the league leaders to just two points should they beat the Foxes.

After a slow start to the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are currently third in the table – behind Leicester and Liverpool – and Merson thinks they will run Liverpool the closest in England’s top flight.

He suspects Liverpool’s main rivals over the past few seasons, Manchester City, will be focused on winning the Champions League.

And with their focus elsewhere, the former Arsenal playmaker thinks United will be the team who are the biggest threat to Jurgen Klopp’s side.

‘If United go and win at Leicester, this would be a bigger statement than beating Leeds 6-2,’ Merson told Sky Sports.

Solskjaer wants to win the Premier League (Picture: Visionhaus)

‘If they can come away with a win, I would think ‘wow’. It would turn my head and if they win they would be Liverpool’s main rivals.

“I just think with Man City, later on in the season when it comes to the business end of the Champions League, if they’re playing a quarter-final on the Wednesday I can’t see Pep Guardiola playing his strongest team on the weekend. The Champions League is the one he wants and City are already a lot of points behind Liverpool.

With United, I don’t feel like they’ve got the cover required at centre-half to win the Premier League at present. You would probably say United are Liverpool’s nearest threat, and I wouldn’t have said that three weeks ago.

When you look at the games Leicester have lost this season at home [against West Ham, Aston Villa, Fulham and Everton], they’ve been beaten by teams they were expected to have a go at. They were all games they were expected to win, so this one should suit Leicester, as the game at Tottenham did.

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