Liverpool will go a long way to breaking their Premier League title duck if they can overcome Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday, according to Jose Mourinho.
The Reds have established an early five-point advantage at the summit of England’s top flight by winning 11 of their opening 12 matches, and will go eight clear if they can overcome the two-time defending champions at home.
Although the season is not yet a third old, such an advantage should be the springboard they require to ending a 30-year drought without winning the championship in the eyes of Mourinho, a manager who has won the title on three occasions.
“I think, nine points, for a very good team, is a difference you just have to control. So if Liverpool win the game, I see them winning the league,” the ex-Chelsea and Manchester United boss told Sky Sports.
Mourinho, though, believes that even a draw would be an outcome that would favour Pep Guardiola’s side.
“I don’t think a point is enough for Liverpool,” he said. “They’re a very good team, but City are capable of going on very strong runs of consecutive victories. A slip for Liverpool will always happen.
“So I think today can be seen as a bit of a contradiction. Even if Liverpool have the six-point advantage, a draw is a positive result for City and a bad result for Liverpool.
“Liverpool have to get the momentum, have to get the little bit of fragility of City have at this time and, in my opinion, to win the game at home at Anfield is the only good result for Liverpool.”
City do not have a good record at the home of the Reds, having won at Anfield only once since 1989, while Guardiola’s side have already lost twice this season and dropped points in three games – half the number of the entire of last season in both categories.
Indeed, even if the guests, who are the league’s top scorers on 34 goals, go to Anfield lying fourth in the standings, it is a position well below their customary standing at this juncture of the campaign.