Former Manchester United and Everton player Wayne Rooney has played down Liverpool's chances of winning the Premier League.
The former England captain provided analysis of Manchester United's 5-1 victory over Cardiff City on Saturday. However, with Liverpool set to be top at Christmas, the questions were not about a rejuvenated Manchester United but about Liverpool's chances of winning the league.
Over the last ten years of Premier League football, the team who has been top of the table has gone on to win the league eight times out of ten. However, Liverpool were the anomaly on both occasions - a point Rooney was keen to point out.
3 - Liverpool have topped the Premier League on Christmas Day without going on to win the title more times than any other side in the competition's history (3 times). Chalice.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 21, 2018
Speaking to BT Sport (as reported by Give Me Sport), the former England international said: "I think they (Liverpool and Man City) are the two teams, as hard as it is to say, who people enjoy watching."
Rooney continued: "I still think (Manchester) City will win it (the Premier League).
"Over the last ten years, only two teams who've been top (at Christmas) have not won the league and both of them was Liverpool, so... hopefully that's the story again.”
With his strong affiliations to Everton and Manchester United, both strong rivals to Liverpool, it is clear why Rooney is so averse to Jurgen Klopp's side winning the Premier League.
However, after Manchester City's shock 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Saturday, Liverpool now find themselves four points ahead of their title rivals. With the Reds set to face Pep Guardiola's side on January 3rd, three wins in their next three games would surely make them favourites for the Premier League title.
Liverpool remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League and their talismanic attacker, Mohamed Salah, seems to be finding form at the perfect moment. In his last three league games, the Egyptian has scored four goals and provided an assist.
Whilst Liverpool will be expected to win their next league game - a home fixture against Newcastle - they then face back-to-back fixtures at home to Arsenal and then away to Manchester City. It could be a defining week in the Premier League title race.