A humiliating 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa and Virgil van Dijk’s serious injury threatened to derail Liverpool’s campaign last month but the champions have responded in style and sit top of the table, one point above second-placed Leicester.
Last year’s runners-up, City, meanwhile, have had a disappointing start to the season and are languishing down in tenth spot after dropping points against Leicester, Leeds and West Ham already this term.
But former Liverpool defender Carragher believes Pep Guardiola’s men remain the strongest candidates to ruin Liverpool’s title defence despite some mixed opening performances in the top flight.
‘I can’t envisage anyone besides Liverpool or Manchester City winning the league, I just can’t see that,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘I know Tottenham have started really well and I hope they have a great season and there are more challengers.
‘But I just can’t see anyone else lifting that league title besides one of the big two of the last few years.
‘I’d be very strong putting Liverpool as big favourites for the title but for obviously the injury to Virgil van Dijk, not just one of Liverpool’s top players but also one of the top players in the Premier League.’
City put four goals past Liverpool in the same fixture last season but Carragher is anticipating a closer affair this time around.
‘I know City wiped the floor with Liverpool last time at the Etihad but Liverpool had some real big chances in that game, certainly at 0-0 and 1-0,’ he added.
‘I’m going to go for 2-2. Sitting on the fence but getting goals.
‘It should be entertaining hopefully.’
‘But are they clinical enough at times? You look at the goal record this season and it’s not normally what you’d associate with a Pep team really.
‘They may not be creating enough but you still fancy them to create chances in games so that’s been the big thing and what’s possibly let City down.’