Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher on the toughest fixtures ahead for Man City and Liverpool in title race
The former England internationals think due to the congestion of fixtures for City and Liverpool, their league run-in will be tough for both clubs.
Manchester City failed to extend the gap at the top of the Premier League table to six points with a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace on Monday evening.
They now sit four points ahead of second place Liverpool, who have a game in hand over the Sky Blues. The Reds face Arsenal on Wednesday evening and could close the gap to just one point with a win.
Both clubs have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League and will find out their opponents for the two-legged fixtures on Friday, while also being in the last eight of the FA Cup.
Speaking about these fixtures as well as their remaining league fixtures, Gary Neville believes due to City’s schedule in the next few weeks, things will become ‘difficult’ for the Premier League champions.
“You look at those fixtures and think about the difficult ones, which ones will the teams pick up points? But then you throw the Champions League quarter-finals in; we don’t know which teams they’re going to draw against yet,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
“But you can imagine those games, the 5 and 6 April and 12 and 13 April - you throw two big Champions League games around that Manchester City v Liverpool game [on 10 April] and you’ve got a lot to contend with in terms of your squad.
“All these… Burnley becomes tougher, Wolves becomes tougher for Manchester City.”
What about Liverpool?
Neville then turned his attention to second place Liverpool. The former England international thinks due to the Reds’ European matches, their league game will become ‘tougher’.
He added: “On the other side, Watford and Villa become a little bit tougher for Liverpool. Liverpool have got Villa away after a Champions League game. These games that might look simple become a lot more difficult when you throw those European nights into the midst of it as well.”
Jamie Carragher also discussed the busy schedule for both clubs and outlined the importance of Liverpool’s game with Arsenal on Wednesday, calling it ‘huge’ for the Reds’ season.
“I think for so long in the last few weeks, City have been six points ahead of Liverpool, with a game in hand. But it’s still six points, you still have to win that game in hand. I do feel the next game away at Arsenal on Wednesday is huge,” Carragher said.
“I think if Liverpool win away at Arsenal, psychologically that could really hurt City.
“Bernardo Silva said ‘We’re still favourites, Liverpool have still got to come to our stadium’. I agree with that, but Arsenal away and City away are the two big problems for Liverpool’s fixture list.”
The ex-Reds defender then outlined which fixtures he believes are ‘massive’ for both clubs coming into the final few months of the season.
“Manchester City, watching at home, if Liverpool win at Arsenal and go within a point and then they play Watford. If Liverpool could actually - it’s not easy but you get Arsenal out of the way, then it’s Watford at home and then it’s Man City. What can you do away at Burnley and then Man City have got Liverpool and Wolves.
“I think the fixtures for the next four for Liverpool and three for Manchester City could play a massive part. I do look at the fixture list and think the toughest fixtures are right upon us now. It’ll be really interesting where both teams are after Wolves away and Villa away [on 16 April].”
City face Liverpool on 10 April with the Sky Blues winning two of their last five meetings against the Reds, while the latter have one victory and honours have been even twice.