Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool will need to amass at least 90 points this season if they are to dethrone Manchester City and win the Premier League for the first time.

Optimism levels are high at Anfield after the club managed to recruit Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri, significantly bolstering their squad.

Many have backed the Reds to be the closest challengers to last season’s runaway champions City.

Club legend Carragher, though, admits Pep Guardiola’s men will need to drop a level for their rivals to have a chance.

“Not since Kenny Dalglish’s first reign as manager has there been so much summer optimism at Anfield, or heaped expectation on the club beyond it,” he wrote in his Telegraph column.

“I am cautious about Jurgen Klopp’s chances. There is still a formidable obstacle in the way. Manchester City.

“For those chasing, not only must their own performances massively improve, they need City to significantly decline. Guardiola’s side can’t keep repeating the freakishly brilliant performance of last season, but such is the standard set, anyone with aspirations of catching them must secure at least 90 points.

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Sunday, January 14, 2018: Liverpool’s scoreboard records the 4-3 victory over Manchester City during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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“If City cannot replicate their form, Liverpool must take advantage before everyone else sorts themselves out. The club has had no better chance to reach this points tally in 28 years, regardless of whether it will be enough to finish top.”

The Sky Sports pundit believes the aggressive approach in the transfer market, which has seen the Reds recruit top-drawer solutions to their outstanding problems, may well pay off.

“Last season’s Champions League run showed where Liverpool are strong; they have a front three to rival anything in the Premier League and added a centre-back in Virgil Van Dijk as good as any in the country,” he explained.

“The final against Real Madrid exposed where investment was needed; a new goalkeeper, stronger midfield and back-up if any of the attacking trio is injured.

“It remains to be seen how good goalkeeper Alisson is but he will be an upgrade. Naby Keita and Fabinho add midfield power, and Xherdan Shaqiri could be a shrewd acquisition backing up the strikers.

“But it also means that if Liverpool do not go close, they may find themselves back in familiar territory in 12 months’ time, behind those who usually invest more but are rebuilding going into this campaign.”

Liverpool will kick-off their title bid at home to West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.

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South African Liverpool fan and freelance writer.

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