Ahead of the next two Premier League fixtures, Gary Neville mentioned the biggest advantage that Manchester City has over Liverpool.
The Premier League title race is already a fight between two squads, Manchester City is chasing Liverpool at the very top of the table where the Reds have 60 points and the Citizens have 56.
Right now, both squads are constantly searching for the other team’s biggest weakness and any small mistake counts because the gap between both squads is very small.
In the upcoming two fixtures that will begin a week from now after the FA Cup weekend goes by, we have two consecutive Premier League fixtures in which Manchester City will play before Liverpool twice.
For experiences former player Gary Neville, having the opportunity to play your games before your title contender is very important and a major advantage on the title race.
Manchester City plays at Newcastle on Tuesday before Liverpool does the same against Leicester City at Anfield Road on Wednesday.
A few days after that, the Citizens will get a visit from Arsenal on Sunday, and the Reds will have to wait until Monday to visit West Ham United in London.
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— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 21, 2019
When asked about this specific detail of the title race between City and Liverpool, Neville responded by saying: “[It makes] a big difference,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s preferable. Our bosses at Sky Sports won’t thank me for saying this but there was a period when [United] were playing and going for leagues that we felt big advantages were gained by playing first.”
“It would always be preferable for teams involved in a title race to play first and have the opportunity to get your points on the board.”
“Either go further in front or close the gap. There’s no doubt it’s a different type of pressure.”
“City will absolutely want to be closing that gap to one point, and asking Liverpool have they got it in them to stand the pressure of playing the day after or two days after.”
“There was a thought 10, 15 years ago towards the end of the season with five, six games to go: would you put both games on at once so there wasn’t that advantage?”
“But then you want the drama of television and the drama of seeing both teams play. But, definitely, playing first is a big advantage,” he added.
But the fact that Manchester City will have a slight advantage due to the fixtures can actually become beneficial for Liverpool, as Jürgen Klopp’s squads have been known to work even better under pressure and having Manchester City pressing them will be something that should increase their sense of urgency to win.
Liverpool is its own worst enemy for this Premier League season, they can still afford to draw once in order to remain as the tournament’s leaders.
The key match that has kept Manchester City right behind the Reds was that shocking victory they had at Etihad Stadium, Pep Guardiola’s squad was nearly perfect during that match and even Jürgen Klopp expected to possibly lose during that evening.
If the Citizens hadn’t won, the title race would probably be decided already and most of the other Premier League squads could’ve lost the will to keep fighting for the title.
But this advantage is so insignificant, that staying this close could mean that we are in for a thrilling last match of the season.
🚨 NEVILLE'S TITLE RACE VERDICT 🚨@GNev2 feels both Liverpool and Manchester City are under real pressure to win the title, but feels it is a chance Jurgen Klopp's side must take.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 4, 2019
What other aspects of the title race do you consider important for both contenders? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.