Everybody’s got a prediction when it comes to the final Premier League standings, and during the international break, there’s nothing better to do than endlessly speculate until proper football returns to our lives.
But John Barnes is at least slightly more knowledgeable than your dad (I’m guessing, I’ve never met the man) when it comes to this kind of thing.
It seems to be the consensus that Manchester City and Liverpool will finish in the top two this season — and their performances in the first four matches would so far bear that out. So the question becomes whether or not Barnes believes his beloved Reds can take the title this season.
The answer? Yeah, not so much.
“They can challenge City but they are the favourites,” Barnes predicted. “You can’t finish 25 points behind them last season and be favourites to win it this year. I think Liverpool will finish second. City will win the title but we will be closer to them. We can win it but City are a great side with a top manager.
Of course, [Kevin] De Bruyne being out for a while helps [Liverpool] but you can see how well they’re playing.
“We can challenge but I don’t expect them to win the league.”
Et tu, Barnesy? Boy is he going to look silly when the glorious Reds finish this season with 114 points while conceding just that one goal.
And how does the legendary winger think the rest of the top four will shake out?
“Man Utd would have to address this disharmony within the squad,” Barnes added. “They’ve got a top squad and manager but the harmony isn’t great. It’s going to be between Tottenham, Chelsea and United. Liverpool and City will be in there, I think Arsenal will miss out.”