Paul Merson thinks the first 20 minutes in Liverpool’s match with Bournemouth will be particularly crucial due to “nerves”.
Manchester City went above the Reds for the first time in two months, albeit on goal difference having played a game more, following a 2-0 win at Everton.
Only eight days ago City faced the prospect of falling seven points adrift after losing to Newcastle but successive 1-1 draws for Liverpool against Leicester and West Ham, coupled with back-to-back wins for City, have wiped out the deficit.
Both sides are level on 62 points but City’s seven-goal advantage puts them on top and Merson thinks “nerves” could play a big part when Jurgen Klopp’s men take on Bournemouth on Saturday.
“Bournemouth are poor away from home and I see Liverpool winning this game, but it is also a dangerous game for them the way the visitors play,” he told Sky Sports.
“They are a little bit like Crystal Palace, they will hit you on the break and are quick, and Liverpool struggle with that.
“And with all the nerves that are going on now, the first 20 minutes will be very, very important. So, a big game.”