Phil Thompson predicts where Liverpool FC, Man City will finish

Gibson was called up to the England squad in 2017

Gibson was called up to the England squad in 2017 Credit GETTY IMAGES

Neville, who was speaking at Cadbury's Premier League launch in Dublin, outlined how he felt that the vigorous Champions League and Premier League schedule of playing "Saturday then Wednesday" does not suit the "100mph" way that Liverpool play.

Determined to build on a fine season that saw his team finish as Champions League runners-up and take fourth place in the Premier League, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp embarked on a £160-million spending spree.

"Liverpool are a real problem", began Neville, cautiously. We spoke to Kompany and Walker and they seem so intent to not drop below the mentality and standards they achieved a year ago.

"They return on Monday, trained Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today so you can imagine that they are not really fit and ready but we have needs", Mourinho said.

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"I'd love to back Liverpool and I do think we'll be the nearest challengers but there's a lot of points to make up on Manchester City", Thompson told Sky Sports. Neville does pause before forcing "Liverpool" out of his mouth when listing contenders, but believes that they need to have sloughed off the distraction of Europe before Christmas if they are to truly challenge.

Alderweireld was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United but firm interest never materialised. "Every team in the league will be thinking 'what a great midfield that is.' The way in which United are being talked about this pre-season it's as if they've got a load of bums playing for them".

"United should be challenging", insisted Neville.

"I told that during pre-season it looked like I was saying something absolutely out of order, something insane, I repeat and maybe tomorrow the reaction is the same: Pre-season hard when you don't have your players to work, that's as simple as that".

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Manchester United have a front six of Mata, Lingard, Lukaku, Rashford, Martial and Sanchez.

And ahead of his side's Premier League season opener against Leicester on Friday night, Mourinho addressed reporters' questions about whether United would be getting any late business done on deadline day.

'We all know they needed a goalkeeper and they've got one of the best in Brazilian Alisson, while Virgil van Dijk now has his feet under the table as the team's defensive leader.

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