Former Liverpool player Steve Nicol believes that Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea will be competing with Liverpool to win the Premier League title this season.
Nicol says that Liverpool could still win the Premier League, but is not as confident in it happening due to the news of Van Dijk’s injury. The Dutchman could be out for the rest of the campaign after damaging his ACL in the 2-2 draw with Everton last weekend.
He also adds that it is too early to talk about Everton winning the title, despite the Toffees currently sitting top of the table after five games.
Speaking to ESPN, as transcribed by Metro, Nicol offered his thoughts on the title race when asked about the Van Dijk injury. “I would say there’s probably four teams that are going to fight it out and it’s difficult, you could find an argument for and against why one of these four teams could win.
“I still think Liverpool could still win the Premier League, but I’m certainly not anywhere near being as comfortable as I was this time last week.
“Liverpool, City, Tottenham and Chelsea for me are the four sides that are going to be competing for this title. It’s tough to think that anybody else could join that four.
“It’s far too early to talk about Everton competing for the Premier League. If anything, I think we can talk about trying to challenge for the top five or six.
“At the end of the day, they have been impressive, but it’s four games, they’ll certainly be in the top half of the table.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
It is interesting that Nicol opted to pick Tottenham as potential candidates ahead of both Arsenal and Manchester United. The fantastic early-season form of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son could be a reason behind it, with the pair on fire in the Premier League so far. Son is the join-top scorer in the division with seven goals, and two assists, whilst Kane has been efficient at scoring and creating with an incredible five goals and seven assists.
Son is leading the league in scoring and Kane is on top of assists, showing that Tottenham potentially have the two best forwards if they can keep up their early form. That is a big if, though, and Tottenham’s defensive frailties were exposed as they conceded three times in the last 10 minutes against West Ham to draw 3-3 after being 3-0 up.
As teams, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City have all had worse starts to the season than Liverpool – although that is not taking into account the impact losing Van Dijk could have on the side. The trio have all managed two wins so far, with Manchester City having played just four games compared to Tottenham and Chelsea’s five – with Liverpool two points ahead of the London clubs and three ahead of City.