Manchester United legend Paul Scholes discusses Premier League title race with sly dig at Liverpool

Paul Scholes doesn’t seem to rate Liverpool this season (Pictures: Getty)Manchester United and Manchester City look the main contenders for the Premier League title race but are yet to be tested by a top team, according to Paul Scholes.

The former Red Devils star’s comments could be seen as a sly dig at United’s old rivals Liverpool, who were thrashed 5-0 by City earlier this month.

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Despite a strong start, Liverpool’s form has taken a real hit since that shock result, and it remains to be seen if the Reds can recover to mount a serious title challenge.

City take on champions Chelsea at the weekend in what seems likely to be a tougher test, and Scholes believes it is these games that will end up defining the season.

Scholes may have written Jurgen Klopp’s side off after their 5-0 loss to Man City (Picture: Getty)The former England international also added that keeping things tight at the back will be a critical factor in the title race, perhaps hinting at an advantage for United, who for the moment look to have the better defence on paper.

‘I think it will come down to who can be better defensively – who can concede the least goals. I don’t think either side has really been tested yet against a top team. When they do we’ll have a better idea,’ Scholes said.

One of the finest midfielders in his former club’s history, Scholes also added that he’s impressed by the depth of quality Jose Mourinho has to choose from in this current squad.

United legend Scholes seems optimistic about his old side’s hopes this term (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United 2017/18 Fixtures

CSKA Moscow – Champions League (A) – Wed 27 SepCrystal Palace (H) – Sat 30 SepLiverpool (A) – Sat 14 OctBenfica – Champions League (A) – Wed 18 OctHuddersfield (A) – Sat 21 OctSwansea – EFL Cup (A) – Tue 24 OctTottenham (H) – Sat 28 Oct

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‘I remember when there was me and Roy (Keane), (Juan Sebastian) Veron, Nicky Butt and Ryan (Giggs) who played in central midfield. There was an abundance of good midfielders and I think now they’ve got the same kind of squad.

‘You’ve got (Ander) Herrera who is not getting a game, Michael Carrick who’s not getting a game. (Paul) Pogba and (Nemanja) Matic seem to be the first choice but Mourinho can mix and match; the midfield should be as good as any.’

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Spartak coach Massimo Carrera admits advice of close friend Antonio Conte about Liverpool key to 1-1 draw

Jurgen Klopp gives directions from the touchline (Picture: Getty)Antonio Conte’s advice was crucial to Spartak Moscow securing a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in Russia, according to their manager Massimo Carrera.

Harry Kane joins elite group after stunning Champions League hat-trick

The Spartak boss was assistant coach to the Chelsea manager during his time at Juventus and Italy and the two have remained close friends.

Carrera revealed before the game he had spoke to Conte about Jurgen Klopp, but played down the length of the conversation.

Liverpool missed a host of chances to beat Spartak, but Carrera admitted after the result that Conte’s tips had been vital to their performance.

‘During the conversation we talked about Liverpool for just a couple of minutes,’ he said after the game.

Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures

Newcastle (A) – Sun 1 OctManchester United (H) – Sat 14 OctNK Maribor – Champions League (A) – Tue 17 OctTottenham (A) – Sun 22 OctHuddersfield (H) – Sat 28 Oct

Philippe Coutinho got Liverpool back into the game (Picture: Getty)

Before wasting a host of chances (Picture :Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley)‘We more discussed the situation in our teams, personal affairs, vacation, but what he said about the British, I needed.’

Carrera added: ‘We played a great game against a very good team.

‘I don’t have any complaints about my team’s performance.

Massimo Carrera is good friends with Antonio Conte (Picture: Getty)

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(Picture: Getty)‘I just want to praise everyone. Am I happy with the result? Yes, we got a draw against a very good team.’

Poor goalkeeping from Loris Karius gifted Spartak the lead before Philippe Coutinho finished off a brilliant move to level the game.

Spartak benefited from Liverpool’s wastefulness in front of goal as the Reds racked up 16 attempts.

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Six of those were on target with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge all guilty of missing golden chances in injury time.

Liverpool now have two points from two Champions League group games while Conte’s help keeps Spartak’s hopes alive they can battle out of the group.

Sevilla now sit top of Liverpool’s group after thrashing Maribor 3-0.

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Barcelona and Liverpool hero Luis Suarez ‘is a Manchester United player’, claims Gary Neville

Gary Neville is confident Luis Suarez would fit in at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville believes Barcelona superstar Luis Suarez has the DNA to fit in at Manchester United.

Suarez, 30, widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers in European football, joined the Catalan giants from United’s bitter rivals Liverpool for a fee of around £65million back in 2014.

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The tenacious Uruguayan scored 82 goals in 133 appearances for Liverpool and came close to lifting the Premier League trophy with the Merseyside club back in 2013/14.

However, Neville claims Suarez is made for the Red Devils and also insists his former side must strongly consider bringing Antoine Griezmann to Old Trafford.

He told Stretty News TV: ‘We can get a lot better. I’d like to see one more flair player in the team.

Antoine Griezmann has been on United’s radar for years (Picture: Getty)‘I’d like to see a winger who can beat a man and get everyone on the edge of their seat.

‘Having been in Spain for four months, I love Griezmann.

‘I would love to see Griezmann at United. He’s quick, he’s inventive he can beat players he can score goals.

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The ex-United and England right-back believes Suarez’s aggression and arrogance would see him fit in well at Old Trafford.

He added: ‘You would love to see Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Neymar and [Gareth] Bale and people like that because you know they would light up Old Trafford.

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‘Suarez, even though he played for Liverpool, is a United player.

‘It’s arrogance to say that but he’s fantastic. He scores goals and he’s aggressive.’

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Frank Lampard hails ‘brilliant’ Philippe Coutinho after Liverpool’s draw with Spartak Moscow

Philippe Coutinho was on form for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Frank Lampard hailed Philippe Coutinho following Liverpool’s draw with Spartak Moscow in the Champions League, claiming he is often playing a ‘different game’ to his team-mates.

The Brazilian scored Liverpool’s equaliser in Russia but Jurgen Klopp’s men couldn’t find a winner in Moscow.

It was Coutinho’s second goal of the season after his stunning free-kick against Leicester on Saturday and he was Liverpool’s main threat throughout their draw with Spartak.

The playmaker, of course, came close to joining Barcelona in the summer but Lampard says Liverpool are far stronger for having kept Coutinho.

Coutinho has two in two (Picture: Getty)‘He had a brilliant game,’ Lampard told BT Sport.

‘Sometimes he plays a different game to everybody else.

‘His passing and awareness to play the right ball for the right run. He was at the hub of all the great chances we’ve talked about but at the end of the day you need people there to finish them.’

MORE: Rio Ferdinand blasts Loris Karius after Liverpool’s draw with Spartak Moscow

Rio Ferdinand blasts Loris Karius after Liverpool’s draw with Spartak Moscow

Loris Karius was at fault for Spartak Moscow’s goal (Picture: Getty)Rio Ferdinand blasted Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius after the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Spartak Moscow and says the German’s team-mates are well within their rights to be annoyed with him.

Liverpool dropped more points on matchday two after a frustrating draw in the Russian capital.

The Reds were behind in the first half after Fernando’s free-kick found its way past Karius in goal, who – on reflection – will probably feel he should have done better.

Philippe Coutinho levelled but the Reds couldn’t find a winner and Ferdinand says he would be ‘fuming’ with Karius if he was a Liverpool defender.

Klopp refused to blame Karius (Picture: Getty)‘If i’m in that team I’m turning around and fuming [at him],’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.

‘I’d be asking him what’s going on. You’d expect your goalkeeper to save the ball there. I

‘It’s not even right in the corner, it almost goes in the middle of the goal once it hits the net and that’s where my frustration would lie.’

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Frank Lampard explains how Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has improved since his Chelsea nightmare

Mohamed Salah has made an instant impact at Liverpool since his move from Roma (Picture: Getty)Frank Lampard believes Mohamed Salah has returned to the Premier League a totally different player to the one who flopped at Chelsea but insists there is significant room for improvement.

The Egypt international joined Chelsea in January 2014 but failed to make an impression under Jose Mourinho and spent the last three years in Italy rebuilding his career.

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An outstanding season at Roma persuaded Liverpool to pay a club-record £39million for his services during the close season, and the former Basel forward has rewarded Jurgen Klopp’s faith with six goals already.

Despite his outstanding start to his Liverpool career Lampard, who played alongside Salah during his time in west London, believes the 25-year-old still lacks composure in front of goal.

Frank Lampard played with and against Mo Salah during his time at Chelsea (Picture: Getty)‘I think he’s done very well, it’s a good start for him,’ Lampard told BT Sport. ‘His improvement since leaving Chelsea and playing in Italy has been great.

‘He’s got six goals in nine games which is impressive for anyone. his chance conversion rate is down which shows you how much room for improvement there is.

‘I think his temperament and his confidence in himself has grown since he was in England before.

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‘He’s always in good positions, he takes the inside left channel brilliantly. He’s playing very well, scoring goals in all positions.

‘He’s a good signing and there’s room for improvement for more.’

MORE: Philippe Coutinho must score more goals to reach the next level, warns Rio Ferdinand

Philippe Coutinho must score more goals to reach the next level, warns Rio Ferdinand

Philippe Coutinho scored his first goal of the season on Saturday (Picture: Getty)Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has warned Philippe Coutinho he must be scoring ’25 to 30 goals a season’ if he’s to reach the next level.

The Brazilian scored a stunning free-kick in Liverpool’s 3-2 win against Leicester on Saturday and set-up Mohamed Salah for the Reds’ second goal.

The playmaker was desperate to join Barcelona in the summer but Liverpool rejected three bids for the Brazil international, the last of which believed to be around £145million.

Coutinho starts for Liverpool in their Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow but Ferdinand believes the Brazilian needs to score more goals if he’s to earn a move to the Camp Nou.

Ferdinand wants more goals from Coutinho (Picture: Getty)‘If he wants to elevate himself into the top tier of players then he needs to be scoring more goals than he is now,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.

‘If you’re going for £150-160m which is what people were talking about as a package then you expect him as a number 10 to be getting 25 to 30 goals a season and that’s his task now to get to that [level] this season.’

The 25-year-old scored 14 goals in 36 appearances for the Reds last season, his best scoring campaign since moving to Anfield.

Arsenal should start Aaron Ramsey in every game, says Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher

Arsene Wenger has been urged to use Aaron Ramsey in every game (Picture: Getty)Aaron Ramsey is one of Arsenal‘s best players and should start every game for the club, according to surprise claims made by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.

The Wales international has been in and out of the Arsenal team in recent seasons, failing to nail down a single position and struggling to show the required consistency to cement a starting spot.

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However, Ramsey looks to be one of the Gunners’ most improved performers this term, forming a strong partnership alongside Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park and also shining in a more advanced role against West Brom.

Carragher believes Ramsey is key to this Arsenal side and has the potential to do for them what Frank Lampard used to do for Chelsea, if given license to do so.

Ramsey has shown signs of improvement this season (Picture: Getty)

Ramsey could be Arsenal’s answer to Frank Lampard, says Jamie Carragher (Picture: Getty)‘Aaron Ramsey should always get in that Arsenal team because he’s one of their best players,’ Carragher told Sky Sports.

‘He’s scored two winners in cup finals but does that role suit him in a central midfield two?

‘When he plays that role, he’s not actually doing anything different that we see Aaron Ramsey do.

‘He covers the most ground in any game, so that’s the type of player he is.

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‘When you say ‘holding midfield player’, that’s the position he’s playing if you like, but he’s never going to be a holding midfield player.

‘He just wants to run, he wants to get in the box. Half the time you look at the manager and say if you’ve got a player like Ramsey, where do you fit him into your team?

‘He’s played him in that role tonight but going forward he’s got (Mesut) Ozil, he’s got (Alexis) Sanchez. How do you get them all in?

Arsenal 2017/18 fixtures

BATE Borisov – Europa League (A) – Thu 28 SepBrighton (H) – Sun 1 OctWatford (A) – Sat 14 OctCrveba Zvezda (A) – Europa League – Thu 19 OctEverton (A) – Sun 22 OctNorwich – Carbao Cup (H) – Tue 24 OctSwansea (H) – Sat 28 OctCrvena Zvezda – Europa League (H) – Thurs 2 Nov

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‘I always think Ramsey would be best, even though he’s been brilliant in that role for Wales, actually in a role we saw Frank Lampard play at Chelsea, where there’s that three-man midfield, you have a sitting midfield player and he’s the one getting box-to-box.

‘Because him getting box-to-box, he gets goals, that’s what he does.’

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Virgil van Dijk tips Liverpool and Manchester City for success in the Champions League

Virgil van Dijk was linked with Liverpool, City and Chelsea in the summer (Picture: Getty)Virgil van Dijk sent the cheekiest come-and-get-me plea of all-time to both Liverpool and Manchester City when predicting which English sides will progress the furthest in this season’s Champions League.

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The 26-year-old defender was heavily linked with a move away from Southampton in the summer transfer window, with Liverpool, City and Chelsea all understood to be interested ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

However, Liverpool were forced to make an official apology after an illegal approach for Van Dijk in June and the Netherlands centre-back remained with the Saints.

On which Premier League giants will go furthest in Europe this term, Van Dijk told Squawka: ‘I think Liverpool and Man City maybe.

Jurgen Klopp expressed a strong interest in the Dutchman this summer (Picture: Getty)‘You never know. It’s always going to be difficult and [it’s] a different style of play – European nights are always different.

‘Anything can happen, especially if you are the big English clubs who are in the Champions League at the moment.’

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Liverpool travel to Spartak Moscow for their second match of the competition on Tuesday night, while City host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad.

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Liverpool never considered selling Daniel Sturridge, says Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp insists Daniel Sturridge is important to Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he never thought about selling Daniel Sturridge during the summer transfer window.

The Reds striker failed to establish himself as a regular in Klopp’s side for much of last season and has had numerous injury problems during his time at Anfield.

Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata: Who looks the best bet to win the Golden Boot?

This saw Sturridge linked several times with a move away in recent months, though he ended up staying put.

It would seem this came after talks with Klopp, who insists the England international remains an important member of his squad.

Sturridge hasn’t always been a regular under Klopp (Picture: Getty)

Sturridge was linked with an exit over the summer (Picture: Getty)‘Yes, we did (have a chat) and all was good,’ Klopp said.

‘It was not a talk with him saying “when can I go?” or “where can I go?”. Not that talk, but about what we planned for this season.

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‘Daniel is important, not could be, he is important.’

Sturridge missed the midweek Carabao Cup game against Leicester City, but Klopp says he left him out in order to continue working to get him to peak condition.