Harry Redknapp says Kevin De Bruyne's injury could be the catalyst for Liverpool to mount a serious title challenge this season, as City revealed today that the midfielder will be out for three months.
The midfielder was City's player of the season as they waltzed to the Premier League title last season, but picked up what was today revealed to be a LCL injury - similar to the one that sidelined him for 12 games in 2016 - meaning he will be out of action until late November at the earliest.
“I fancy Liverpool this year. I like the look of them. I think they will run Manchester City very close.
"City will be favourites, but if Kevin de Bruyne is out for a few months, then that’s a big blow.
“You look at Liverpool's forward power now, the front three are incredible. Daniel Sturridge came off the bench the other day and scored and Xherdan Shaqiri is there, he’s another player with great ability.
“I think this could be Liverpool’s year to win a championship again.”
Liverpool's impressive transfer business - spending £170m on Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri - has many, including Redknapp, looking to them as the team to challenge Pep Guardiola's side for the crown, aided by the manner in which they exclusively dismantled City on several occasions last season.
And while it may seem disingenuous and disrespectful to talk about an injury to a top class player as a boost to a competitor, it's impossible not to acknowledge the implications it could have on the title race.
De Bruyne scored 12 goals and registered 21 assists in all competitions last season, operating as the side's main creative force.
City, however, coped well without him for the most part at the weekend against Arsenal, cruising to a 2-0 win at the Emirates.
Liverpool, meanwhile, lay down a gauntlet of their own, blowing West Ham away with a 4-0 win.