Dwight Yorke, the Manchester United treble champion, has dismissed suggestions of Tottenham challenging Manchester City for the title, instead explaining why Liverpool and Arsenal are the genuine challengers.
Many people predicted that Manchester City will once again sweep all before them in the Premier League.
Kevin De Bruyne, the game’s inventor, has suffered a catastrophic hamstring injury that might keep him out for up to four months.
City initially coped well in De Bruyne’s absence, though lost back-to-back Premier League games before the international break when Rodri was missing from their midfield too. The Spaniard was ineligible for the defeats to Wolves and Arsenal while serving a three-game suspension.
Signs of City’s vulnerability have re-opened the discussion over who’ll be crowned kings of England at season’s end. The four clubs generally believed to be in with a genuine shout of lifting the trophy are City, Arsenal, Liverpool and table-toppers Tottenham.
Now, in quotes carried by the Liverpool Echo, Man Utd treble winner, Dwight Yorke, put his weight behind Liverpool and Arsenal as credible threats to City.
Liverpool’s attacking power was cited by Yorke and with good reason too. Indeed, the Reds have scored two-plus goals in nine of their 11 matches across all competitions this season.
Arsenal also came into Yorke’s thinking, though Spurs did not.
Man City vulnerable without De Bruyne and Gundogan?
“I think the title race is between Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool,” said Yorke. “It’s very silly to write off Liverpool, especially when you see their attacking threat and the players they have.
“I still think they’re a threat and, if you’re a football person, you’d be silly not to think Liverpool are in that conversation.
“We saw Arsenal get the points against City, and we also saw City lose against Wolves, which was unheard of.
“There are some cracks evident with Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan not being there and City aren’t as strong as they’d like to be. They’re still very good, though.
“There’s a bit of hope for Arsenal and Liverpool will be looking for their opportunity. Those are the three for me, and the rest of them will be runners-up to them.”
Ask me about Tottenham in January” – Yorke
The odd team out when glancing at the current EPL table is Tottenham.
What’s more, without European football clouding their midweeks, Spurs will fancy their chances of sustaining a title charge.
Nonetheless, while Yorke thinks Tottenham “look great”, he’s not so sure they can maintain their early heroics.
“I think Spurs look great and we’ve seen the likes of Aston Villa top of the league at the start of [previous] seasons, but ask me about Tottenham in January,” continued Yorke.
“We’ve seen the odd exception in the Premier League with the likes of Blackburn and Leicester, so I won’t write Spurs off, and I’ll give them more credit. You never know in football, and that’s what makes it fascinating.
“We’ll know what the league is really like after December, and it’s then we’ll realise who’s really amongst it.”