Former Liverpool defender Phil Babb believes the title race is still on despite his old club opening up an eight-point lead at the top of the table – and he does not believe it’s just a two-horse race either.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were cut in to 2/5 favourites for their first league title since 1990 after a resounding 3-1 win over reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday.
The win saw the Reds open up a nine-point gap between themselves and Pep Guardiola’s men, with City now languishing in fourth spot following their third league defeat of the season, pushing their title odds out to 5/2.
However, Leicester currently occupy second spot on goal difference ahead of Chelsea, with both teams performing better than expected in the opening 12 games of the Premier League season.
Of course, both Chelsea and 2015-16 champions Leicester boast significantly more Premier League winners in their respective squads than Liverpool, with vice-captain James Milner the only man in Klopp’s panel with a winners’ medal in England’s top flight.
For that reason, Babb believes Leicester – currently 40/1 underdogs – cannot be ruled out of the equation, even if Man City are quite rightly considered Liverpool’s biggest threat.
'Title Race Not Over’
“I think it’s too early to say that the title race is over, for sure,” Babb told Bookmakers.co.uk.
“You look at the nine-point gap and you know Man City are not going to give up. If anything, the nature of their defeat at Anfield will probably galvanise them – Pep will be fired up to go and hunt Liverpool down.
“But let’s not count out what Leicester are doing at the moment. Brendan Rodgers is doing a fantastic job with those youngsters, and some of them already have experience of winning the Premier League of course.”
Meanwhile, 33/1 outsiders Chelsea are on a run of six consecutive Premier League wins, but, unlike the Foxes, Babb is less convinced about the Blues maintaining their current levels for the remainder of the season.
He added: “At Chelsea, Frank Lampard is doing an amazing job as well. I’m not sure they can sustain their form enough to go and win it, but they can certainly have a say in the title race.
“Liverpool’s last home game of the season is against the Blues, and we all remember what happened five years ago when Chelsea spoiled the Reds’ party.
“Hopefully that’s not a bad omen, and there’s a long way to go before that game, but Liverpool are in the box seat and if they can maintain anything like the sort of form they’ve shown in the opening 12 games over the remainder of the season then they’ll do enough to win it this time around.”
Leicester, who defied odds of 5000/1 when they won the Premier League under Claudio Ranieri, began this season as 300/1 outsiders for the title.
Meanwhile, former Republic of Ireland international Babb has been waxing lyrical about Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, telling Gambling.com that he has what it takes to be the best in the world in his position.
However, despite the youngster’s impressive 16 assists in his first 67 Premier League games, Babb does not subscribe to the theory that Alexander-Arnold should be used in a more advanced position for England during the current international break, even if he’s fully capable.
“I’ve been very impressed with Trent this season,” said the former Sporting Lisbon centre-half.
“But it’s a big ask for Gareth Southgate to try him in that position, when he’s got someone like Jadon Sancho doing that job, who has done particularly well for England since he’s come in.
“But the good thing about Trent is that you could play him in any one of those positions down the right, even if it was the right side of a front three he’d still be effective.”