We’ve now seen every team play twice in the Premier League this season and the table is already starting to take shape.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Brighton, Tottenham and West Ham all have a 100% record after their opening two matches, while Wolves, Burnley, Newcastle, Arsenal and Norwich are still pointless.
Of course, we’ve still got a very long way but Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher think they’ve seen enough to cast their prediction for the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign.
On Monday Night Football, the pair were tasked with making their predictions from ‘Champions’ to ‘One to Watch’ and everything in between.
Here’s what they went for.
Quiz: The ultimate 2021/22 Premier League quiz – a question on each club
Carragher: Manchester City
Neville: Manchester City
Carragher said: “Man City are Man City. Liverpool are the one team who have broken their spell up, once in the last four years. It will take a lot to do that again. It will be really difficult to stop City if Kane went there. But if he doesn’t, I think it is much more of a fight. I think Chelsea are involved and I think Liverpool are involved.”
Neville said: “You’ve still got to go with Man City at this point because of what they’ve done over the last few years [regardless of what happens with Kane] and Chelsea have still got to prove themselves, Manchester United have got to prove themselves, Liverpool have got to prove they can get back to that level where they were before.”
Carragher: Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United
Neville: Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool
Carragher said: “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, I think the managers of the other teams have got the pedigree of top clubs, winning Champions Leagues, so I think managers do make a huge difference. I think Liverpool have a better team, a better manager, they only finished six points behind United last season despite having no centre backs for most of the season. And I think maybe Liverpool are going under the radar and some people – myself included – are forgetting how good they were for a couple of years.”
Neville said: “I just think they’ve got a better squad. I think Liverpool have got a better first XI but you know Liverpool, with a couple of injuries, do have that drop in level. United don’t really have that drop in level in any position.”
Carragher: Mohamed Salah
Neville: Romelu Lukaku
Neville said: “It could be Salah, it could be Lukaku, it could be Kane – and, to fair, you’d be guessing if you chose between the three of them.”
Carragher said: “We have said so often how much we enjoy watching them play but can they finish? Certainly, in the opening stages of this season, they have been a lot more clinical than they have been in the past. You just hope with confidence, maturity, just that experience of playing in the Premier League, they will be able to finish off more of their chances.”
Neville said: “I’ve been clear I don’t quite like the idea of the ex-Liverpool legend manager going to Goodison Park. Many Evertonians don’t. But I’ve got no doubts about what he’ll do as a performance. I think he’ll make them have their best season for a long time. I think they could do what West Ham and Leicester did last season and get up to that fifth, sixth position.”
Carragher: Manchester United
Carragher said: “I actually think United have got a squad capable of really challenging, really pushing for the title. You’ve said they’ll finish third, I’ve said they’ll finish fourth. I think that’s underachieving with the squad they’ve got.”
Neville said: “I think they’ve got a good young coach but at the moment I worry about the make-up of the squad, it doesn’t feel right. That’s not because they’ve lost their first two games. They’ve got a mixture of young players that you can imagine are committed, desperate to do well, have got talent, and then I think about the guidance I got as a young player at Manchester United, from unbelievable senior players in that dressing room, and I don’t think they’ve got the right direction around them in that structure.”
Carragher: Emile Smith-Rowe
Neville: Kai Havertz
Caragher said: “I think he has been outstanding, I loved watching him last season. Even though Arsenal have made a poor start to the season, he was arguably the best player on the pitch for the Friday Night Football. It is the way he moves with the ball. Very rarely do I see even the top players be able to receive the ball on the back foot on both sides, he can go with his left or his right. I am a huge fan of his.”
Neville said: “I actually think Havertz has gone up a level but he is in third gear. He could go to fourth gear and to fifth gear. He could become an absolutely great player. When he really fills out, and he will do, he is already a great runner with the ball, but he will get more confidence, more belief and in a couple of years he could be someone who is absolutely there.”
One to watch
Carragher: Jadon Sancho
Neville: Raphael Varane
Carragher: “I think he could be a superstar, I really do. You look at his numbers in German football. Gary has mentioned that they need this player on the right side, at times I think he is as good on the left if you look at his stats.”
Neville: “I want to see how Varane does for Manchester United. I am intrigued to know how this World Cup winner with numerous Champions Leagues does. To see how he builds a partnership with Harry Maguire takes Paul Pogba off the one to watch.”