Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has suggested that he sees neither Manchester United nor Tottenham as Premier League title contenders this year.
The German shot-stopper has played his part in establishing the Reds as a genuine threat for the title this season, and has had his say on the race to claim the trophy.
In his defence, both Tottenham and United are well off the pace currently, sitting seven and 11 points respectively adrift of leaders Chelsea.
However, with so much time left in the season given that we’re only 13 games in and with the top clubs all already going through difficult patches and dropping points along the way, some would argue that it’s still far too early to be writing any of the top six off.
“Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and us,” he told German football magazine kicker, as reported by ESPN FC. “That quartet is standing eye-to-eye. Many thought City with Pep Guardiola would be the favourites, but Chelsea went on a brutal run recently. The direct duels could be decisive.”
It remains to be seen how Liverpool cope with the loss of Philippe Coutinho after the influential Brazilian international suffered an ankle injury last week that will sideline him until mid-January.
Further, it’s a significant contrast to the usual line out of Anfield from Jurgen Klopp and his players as they have consistently played down talk of the Premier League title and tried to manage expectations.
Karius is seemingly confident enough to come out and insist that Liverpool are part of the four-team battle for the title and rightly so, but it remains to be seen whether or not the pacesetters offer a window of opportunity to the other two clubs who were also considered legitimate contenders before the season started.
Chelsea face Manchester City this weekend, Arsenal are away at West Ham looking for just their second win in the last six in all competitions and Liverpool face a tough trip to face Bournemouth.