Paul Merson doubts Liverpool’s title prospects amid their lack of game changers on the bench

27 Feb 2019

Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Paul Merson believes Liverpool could find it hard to match Manchester City in the title race hereafter, given the reduced depth within the squad. The Citizens recently took the lead of the table on goal difference to Jurgen Klopp’s side although the latter have a game in hand to capitalise.

Still, Merson does not feel the Reds can match up to the Mancunian giants, given Pep Guardiola’s side can rotate the starting XI when required without necessary weakening the outlook of the team. The former Gunners ace added that the club may regret the loan departure of Nathaniel Clyne to Bournemouth given the other specialist right-backs Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are still on the sidelines.

He said: “
“Manchester City can rotate as much as they want“
and their team never gets weakened. They have five or six players on the bench who can come on and change a game. Jurgen Klopp’s bench is just not the same. They were struggling against West Ham and brought on Divock Origi to try to win them the game. “No disrespect to him“ but Origi wouldn’t get in Arsenal’s team and James Milner at right-back seems to be struggling. They must be wondering why they let Nathaniel Clyne go.”

Liverpool are currently on a two-match run in the Premier League without a victory after draws against Leicester City and West Ham United. Next up, they are scheduled to face Bournemouth at Anfield and the match remains a must-win for them to keep up with the Citizens, who have the advantage at the summit after playing a preponed game against Everton in midweek. Meanwhile, Guardiola’s team would be facing Chelsea during the weekend and the game could be tricky, given the Blues won the reverse fixture 2-0. N’Golo Kante and David Luiz were the scorers at the Bridge.