Ex-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez believes Manchester City have very little margin for error now they are eight points behind his former club at the top of the table.
The gap is the biggest at the stage of the season in Premier League history, and Benitez has warned the Citizens that they cannot afford to be distracted by other competitions, like the Champions League, if they want to catch the Reds:
“If you look at the table Liverpool has a great advantage at the moment, it is too early to tell much from that, but Manchester City can’t make too many mistakes or the pressure might become too much.”
“Especially as later they will start thinking about the Champions League and lose their focus on the Premier League which obviously would be good for Liverpool.”
It is an interesting point that Benitez makes but City’s squad depth should be able to help them focus on more than one front.
Especially if Pep Guardiola’s side reach the knockout phase of the Champions League, they should have both Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte close to returning to full fitness.
With City having already won their first two games, they may also be able to rest players in the last round of group fixtures if they have already qualified. With Liverpool having lost to Napoli in their group, it’s unlikely that they’ll have the same luxury.