Liverpool legend John Barnes admits Manchester City are still favourites to win the Premier League title this season, despite the Reds sitting top of the table.
It has been an impressive campaign from Jurgen Klopp’s side so far, with just one defeat in 21 games leaving them five points clear of City in second place.
Pep Guardiola’s side have a game in hand and have been boosted by the return from injury of Kevin De Bruyne, with Erling Haaland also set to be back in action imminently.
Barnes has also been impressed with the performances of 20-year-old Norwegian Oscar Bobb, and he reckons the champions are looking increasingly good in their pursuit of another Premier League title.
‘You can’t help but be impressed by Kevin De Bruyne,’ Barnes told mybettingsites.co.uk. ‘As much as Man City are a fantastic side, you can see when he plays he lifts the fans and the players.
‘Kevin De Bruyne returning alongside the promising contributions of Bobb will give City impetus now so it’s good news for them and bad news for everybody else.
‘He gives a little bit more confidence to an already fantastic team so it’s ominous for the rest of the Premier League because now that he’s back, plus Haaland is returning.
‘City are still favourites for the league. De Bruyne will be fresh and he won’t be tired because he’s just coming back for the second half of the season.’
Guardiola spoke of how impressed he has been with Bobb earlier this month, explaining: ‘Txiki [director of football Txiki Begiristain] at the end of last season said to me that in the Under 23s [last season] Oscar Bobb was the best player by far and I said: “OK [he’ll] go to Japan [on our summer tour] to start to train with us”.’
‘Immediately Oscar got something that is the most important thing. That is to rely on his mates.
‘It’s more important than relying on the manager. When the mates can say: “OK – this player can play with us”, that is the best success.
‘It was immediately. He can play in five positions, striker, right wing, left, in the pockets… [he is] so dynamic and the work ethic is unbelievable.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.