Micah Richards weighs up Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Leeds ahead of 2020/21

special- Sky Sports pundit and former Premier League champion Micah Richards believes Liverpool will only be the team to beat in 2020/21 and remain at the same impressive level that saw them win the title last season if their squad remains injury-free. she lives.

The Reds blew away the competition last season, doing so with a fixed starting XI for most of the campaign. Injuries have come and gone, but Jurgen Klopp’s key players have remained available at crucial times – which Richards says could be the difference this season, if the tide turns.

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“[Liverpool] It would be just as well if they kept everyone fit. Not if they get a couple of injuries during the season,” explains the former Manchester City defender. 90 minutes Ahead of the 29th season of Sky Sports’ live Premier League coverage.

“If you took it [Mohamed] Advice or [Sadio] With Mane out of the team, it’s pretty clear they can’t be the same. The quality they have brought off the bench is not the same as the First XI.

“That’s why you’d think they’d be on it in the transfer market and it’s difficult because you don’t want to bring in a top player just to sit on the bench. So it’s a bit of a Catch 22 with Liverpool.”

But despite concerns about Liverpool’s options beyond Klopp’s preferred XI, Richards says it is the reigning champions who are most likely to go unbeaten in 2020/21 – largely because Manchester City are ill-suited to achieve the feat, while Chelsea – despite the money invested in the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz at Stamford Bridge this summer – are not quite ready.

Richards fears Man City are not strong enough defensively / Sean Bottrell / Getty Images

“Manchester City are still working on the bits and pieces of their backline. They may score more goals than Liverpool, but City scored too many goals to stay unbeaten,” explains Richards.

“[Chelsea] Might get a third or push for a second. I don’t think they have enough to win,” said the 32-year-old. Last season when they had no transfers you wouldn’t think they would finish top four. Frank has done an amazing job, it’s just a different pressure now. He has to do this after spending money.

As for the surprise package of the season, Richards is backing his hometown club Leeds to live up to expectations now that they are back in the top flight for the first time in 16 years.

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“You go to Elland Road and it’s like a war zone,” he says. “Their fans… they were getting 30,000 in League One. [away] Teams when fans are allowed back into the stadium. [shakes head]. Leeds fans are fanatical, so I would think they will be a big surprise.

“They need to improve the strike options, but they have one of the best managers, though…Bielsa, wow. Tactically, incredible. If they improve strikingly, they could be a surprise package this year. will

However, Leeds have been dealt the toughest start to the fixture and must travel to Anfield to face champions Liverpool in their first game on Saturday evening.

Richards expects Leeds to surprise Premier League/Michael Regan/Getty Images

This is the worst fixture for Leeds, straight up, and could do some damage to their confidence. 3-0 or 4-0, as much as I hate to say it. They can’t get anything by going to Anfield, I don’t think,” added Richards.[Bielsa] going to do [keep the same tactics] Because that’s all he knows. He loves that high press but Liverpool can play around him and high press if they want to.

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