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Gary Neville reveals two Man City stars who could hand Liverpool the Premier League title | Football | Sport

Liverpool will win the Premier League this season if John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi continue to play at the back together for Manchester City, according to Gary Neville.

Stones and Otamendi were poor in City’s shocking 3-2 defeat to Norwich at the weekend in Aymeric Laporte’s absence.

Laporte injured his knee last month and will be out of action for five to six months, leaving Guardiola with just two fit senior centre-backs.

And Neville believes it’s that shortage of defensive personnel which could cost City, and benefit title rivals Liverpool, in the long run.

“What will cost Manchester City the Premier League title is [their 68 per cent win ratio] when Stones and Otamendi play together,” he said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

“If these two play together, at their current rate, [City] won’t win the league.”

Neville picked up on the fact that since Laporte was signed from Athletic Bilbao, Stones and Otamendi haven’t been trusted, particularly since their harrowing performance against Liverpool in January 2018.

“Since [Aymeric] Laporte came to the club, Pep Guardiola has given up on this partnership [John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi],” he added.

“The last time they played together in a big game was when Liverpool beat Manchester City 4-3.

“Otamendi always gets caught as a centre-back. He never quickens up the attack, he’s always on his backside. He’s so not a Pep Guardiola-type centre-back.

“He’s rash. Pep Guardiola-type centre-backs are composed.

“Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, there was always a game too far where he’d say right that’s it you’re done.

“I think this is the game where Guardiola decided ‘right, that’s it you can’t play together’.

“They haven’t played together since this game. Laporte’s injury, [Vincent] Kompany leaving, not replacing him is a big problem for City.”

Liverpool are already five points clear of City after five games this season, having lost out on last year’s Premier League crown by just a single point.

The Reds are the only side in England’s top flight with a 100 per cent record this season, winning five from five.

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