Gary Neville has admitted Liverpool have started the season far stronger than he anticipated – but has stood firm in his prediction of Arsenal to win the Premier League title.
Liverpool sit fourth in the Premier League after the final round of fixtures after they came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds currently sit three points behind Tottenham Hotspur, who are leading the way heading into the October international break.
After also visiting Chelsea, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur so far this season, Liverpool have suffered just one defeat so far this season, which came under controversial circumstances in North London last weekend.
And in light of such an impressive start to the campaign, Neville has admitted that Liverpool are one of two top-six sides who have surprised him this season.
“I’m not changing my predictions by the way for those of you who think I’m flip-flopping, I always keep my predictions the same,” said the Sky Sports pundit on the Gary Neville Podcast.
“But off what I’ve seen in eight to 10 weeks, Manchester United are a lot worse than I thought they were, Tottenham are a lot better than I thought they were, Liverpool are better than I thought they would be. That’s probably the same as most people.”
In relaying his predictions for the season, Neville backed Jurgen Klopp’s side to finish ahead of Spurs but behind Manchester City and Arsenal, and later delivered a brutal verdict on his former club by insisting they will struggle to finish in the top five.
“I don’t think Manchester United will finish in the top five this season, I just don’t. I think they’re way off it. I’m surprised because seven or eight weeks ago, I had them [to finish] third again,” added the Old Trafford great.
“But just honestly what I see at the moment, I don’t think the goalkeeper has settled in quickly – I think he should have saved the one yesterday. I think that’s a problem.
“If your goalkeeper is not settled in and there is a bit of instability around that it does create a big problem. I’ve had it at United – so United, not for me.
“Chelsea, I think, [they are a lot] nearer to it. If they can just go on a run because they have got some really talented young players. Their age is a lot better than United’s squad.”
Liverpool host Everton at Anfield after the international break on October 21.