Manchester United finished 33 points behind Liverpool last season as Jurgen Klopp’s side cantered towards their first title win in three decades almost unchallenged.
Gary Neville expects a very different result this season, and expects United to finish higher than Liverpool.
Speaking to Stadium Astro when asked to predict the top four for the 2020/21 season, Neville responded: “I’m going to go Man City, Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea, but that’s with a little bit of hope rather than science.
“Finishing third last season was a big moment for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. That demonstrated progression. I think he has to break that top-two or get close to that top-two and get close to the title. The fans want to see progression and Manchester United have to continue to progress.”
Optimism over realism
Neville stopped short of predicting United will win the league, backing City to bounce back and move from second the first, with Liverpool dropping to third.
Liverpool have not really strengthened yet this summer, but they have kept the same squad intact which won last season’s title.
United finished the 2019/20 season really strongly, unbeaten over the final 14 Premier League games.
This run provided reason for optimism, and Donny van de Beek’s signing could be a significant one in terms of adding depth and quality to the midfield, as he is a starter level stand-in.
But to really take Neville’s comments seriously, United need to do more in the transfer market.
Defensively, United conceded only three more goals than Liverpool, and while there are improvements which can be made here, it is in attack where the team need to be more ruthless, scoring 19 fewer goals.
The one decisive factor could be the future of Thiago Alcantara, Bayern Munich’s Champions League winner who has been linked to both clubs, report The MEN.
If United can win the race, it will close the gap and possibly help Neville’s prediction come true.
But if Liverpool are successful in signing Thiago, as many believe will be the case, then United’s task of overtaking them will get a whole lot tougher.
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