'Van Dijk and Salah injuries could derail Liverpool's season'

The Reds are comfortably clear of their title rivals in the Premier League, but their ex-midfielder feels they are a long way from becoming champions

Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge could be put into jeopardy by injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, according to Reds legend Steve McManaman.

Jurgen Klopp’s side opened up a 10-point lead over Manchester City on Saturday thanks to a 5-1 demolition of Arsenal, with City suffering back-to-back defeats to lose ground on their title rivals. Pep Guardiola has been hit by injuries to some key players and former Liverpool midfielder McManaman is wary that the same thing could happen at Anfield.

“If Liverpool get a bad injury to Van Dijk or to Salah, at the same time, your thoughts start to change,” he told BT Sport.

“Football is one of those things. When they say you have to take it game-by-game, that’s what you have to do. You have to hope everyone stays fit and the best team will win.”

City could reduce the deficit to seven points on Sunday as they take on Southampton at St Mary’s and McManaman still believes that last season’s champions have what it takes to return to the top of the table. The Reds travel to Manchester on Thursday, where their lead over City could be further reduced, leaving the title race wide open once again.

“Of course Liverpool are absolutely flying at the moment but I’d still say Manchester City have got that little bit of an edge,” the 46-year-old admitted.

“They have got them at home next and they have won the league before. I don’t want to put too much pressure on Liverpool. Of course I want Liverpool to win the league, it goes without saying.

“They are frightening at this moment but every year we pick out teams to win the elague, to not win the league, and you fall flat on your face three months later.

“If it’s in April and they’ve got that much point difference, I’m quite happy to shout it from the rooftops but they’ve got a long way to go.”

From their first 20 Premier League games this season, Liverpool have won 54 points. Only two teams in history have had a better return at the same stage, with Man City setting the record last season with 58 points from 20 games.

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