Trevor Sinclair has predicted Liverpool as the team to beat in the Champions League knockout stages in a warning to Manchester City and Manchester United.
Having coasted to a third Premier League title in four seasons – in addition to winning another Carabao Cup – Pep Guardiola and his star-studded team fell agonisingly short in last season’s Champions League final, going down 1-0 to Chelsea in Porto.
In the Europa League, meanwhile, neighbours United also tasted defeat in the final, with Villarreal victorious.
The two Manchester clubs have already progressed into the last-16 stage as group winners this campaign but, according to Sinclair, it’s across the M62 where the glittering Champions League trophy willmost likely to end up.
Speaking about Jurgen Klopp and his impressive team on talkSPORT, the pundit also suggested that United do not form part of the biggest Premier League rivalry anymore.
Sinclair said: “Liverpool and Manchester City have been the best two teams in the Premier League for a while now and I think it’s the biggest rivalry.
“I know it’s not got the history of Manchester United and I know it’s not got the history of some of the other clubs, but over the last three, four or five years Liverpool and Manchester City have been the biggest two rivals in English football.”
Speaking about Liverpool’s perfect record in Group B – a first for an English team – the pundit added: “It doesn’t surprise me. At the start of the season, I wasn’t sure how their back four would fare – with players coming back from long-term injuries – but I think they have done really well.
“They are right near the top of the table vying for top spot.
“Apart from the West Ham result and a couple of indifferent performances from Liverpool, they have been as good as they have been for a while.
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“It doesn’t surprise me they were top of their group. It doesn’t surprise me they are near the top of the table. With the history they have got in this competition – there’s a real love affair in the Champions League for Liverpool fans – I think they are the team to beat.”
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