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Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson expects Manchester City to win the Premier League this season, but has issued a warning to Pep Guardiola's side.
Speaking to Off the Ball, Lawrenson stated:
“I think just the same as last year but I would have City as narrow favourites.”
However, the former defender does think their title charge could be pretty easily derailed with just one injury.
“But I think it’s very, very, very close and you know, what if De Bruyne gets injured for four months that’s the big thing from City’s point of view, who’s going to play in his position?
“Well you argue there’s no one in the world at the moment that’s capable of playing in that position and running the team and working hard, making assists and scoring lots of goals. It remains to be seen.
“Also the effect of the World Cup, if Belgium go all the way then what will De Bruyne be like for the last four or five months of the league season?”
De Bruyne's fitness is a valid concern from Lawrenson’s perspective, but certainly one which can be easily caveated.
It is an argument which can be applied to almost every team in the Premier League.
What happens to Liverpool if they lose Mo Salah? To Spurs if they lose Harry Kane? To Arsenal if they lose Bukayo Saka? Losing your best player to injury is always going to spell danger.
But perhaps Lawrenson is a tad short-sighted in his analysis, forgetting that the Manchester City squad boasts some of the best depth in quality in world football.
City would of course miss De Bruyne if he were to be side lined for a lengthy period, but with the likes of Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, and Jack Grealish waiting in the wings, overall performance level wouldn’t drop off drastically.
City fans would argue Liverpool would be in more danger if a key Reds midfielder were to sustain an injury considering their lack of depth in quality in the engine room.
Dealing with injuries is part and parcel of any Premier League season.
But if one wants to use it as a stick to attack a club with, Manchester City shouldn’t be that club.