Analysis

Liverpool must take 'unbelievable chance', says Paul Merson

Sky Sports pundit thinks Liverpool would be better off out of the FA Cup

Last Updated: 04/01/19 1:39pm

Liverpool would benefit from exiting the FA Cup, says Paul Merson
Liverpool would benefit from exiting the FA Cup, says Paul Merson

Paul Merson believes Liverpool would be better off out of the FA Cup in order to focus on the "unbelievable chance" of winning the Premier League.

Liverpool's 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, their first of the season, reduced their lead at the top to just four points.

They visit Wolves in the FA Cup third round on Monday, but Merson thinks the FA Cup and Champions League provide unwanted distractions for Jurgen Klopp's side as they look for a first league title in 29 years.

"The quicker they go out of these competitions, the more of an unbelievable chance they have to win the Premier League," Merson said.

"Twenty-nine years now without the league, what an opportunity, you don't want to keep playing game after game after game."

Injuries to Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Alberto Moreno left Liverpool with a depleted defence over the Christmas schedule, with Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk playing every minute during the festive period.

"They've not got the biggest squad in the world," said Merson. "These chances do not come along too often, you win it one year, and the next you're blown away in 10 games.

"They've got to take that chance."

Sergio Aguero scored Manchester City's first goal
Sergio Aguero scored Manchester City's first goal

City took all three points at the Etihad as Leroy Sane grabbed a late winner, but Liverpool may feel hard done by that Vincent Kompany was not dismissed for a lunge on Mohammed Salah.

"Vincent Kompany should've been sent off really, he's out of control and he's got to go there." said Merson. "If he goes, it's a different game."

When asked whether anyone in the Premier League can match the same energy and intensity on display, Merson thinks Liverpool and City are in a class of their own.

"In the Premier League, no, not even around Europe. I think those two teams are head and shoulders above.

"That was an absolute cracker of a game, top quality players getting on the ball, playing with pace and energy.

"I think Liverpool will be a bit disappointed getting beat."