Sky Sports pundit and former footballer Paul Merson believes it is time to ‘start paying attention’ to Leicester City in the title race as the Foxes emerge as Liverpool’s closest challengers.
In his latest Sky Sports column, Merson feels that Brendan Rodgers’ side are owed a little more respect, while warning Liverpool that they will be ready to pounce on any slip-ups should they get a positive result at the Etihad prior to their Boxing Day clash at the King Power Stadium.
He said: “I think we’ve all been a little bit disrespectful to Leicester recently. Every time we talk about the title race, we say it’s over because Manchester City are 14 points behind Liverpool.
“City are not going to catch Liverpool because I don’t see Liverpool losing four games and City winning all of theirs. But you’ve got to start paying attention to Leicester.
“If they can go to the Etihad and get a result next week then it’s game on because they still have Liverpool to play at home and Liverpool still have to go to Manchester City, who will get better as the season goes on.
“I’m not saying Leicester will win the Premier League because Liverpool look uncatchable, but Leicester will chase them all of the way.”
Although Merson casts doubt over Leicester’s title credentials, the lead which Liverpool have amassed that appears to make their title glory a formality arguably leads to the Foxes’ impressive season to date going somewhat unnoticed.
However, there is the possibility that Rodgers can help force his team into title contention by getting through the Christmas period unscathed – especially with Liverpool playing fewer league matches due to their Club World Cup commitments later this month.
That may not be enough to put the pressure on Liverpool or make Merson eat his own words, though with the Foxes continuing to fly high following their ninth-placed finish last term, it is perhaps important they get the recognition they deserve for a rather exceptional start to the campaign.
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