Premier League or Champions League? What do Liverpool and Man City need to win?

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What do Manchester City and Liverpool need to win this season to cement their place in history – the Premier League or the Champions League? The Sky Sports pundits have their say…

Just one point separates Premier League leaders City and second-placed Liverpool at the top of the table with seven games remaining, and both teams are still playing in Europe.

City have dominated domestically, winning three of the last four league titles, but the Champions League has so far evaded them and Pep Guardiola admits they may have to conquer Europe to be fully respected.

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Liverpool, meanwhile, have won the Champions League and Premier League under Jurgen Klopp – but their struggles to keep up with City’s consistency means they have just one league title in 32 years.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s draw with Liverpool in the Premier League.

City are still searching for their first Champions League trophy, while Klopp’s side are one off equalling Manchester United’s record of 20 English top-flight titles.

Which trophy is more important?

Speaking after Sunday’s pulsating 2-2 draw between the two sides at the Etihad, Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Micah Richards and Roy Keane had the debate…

Carra: Can you call Man City a great team if they don’t win the Champions League?

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Micah: Yeah I still think you can call them a great team. Pep has won three Premier Leagues. Liverpool are outstanding but they’ve only won the Premier League once and every year Man City are pushing them right to the limits. Liverpool are a great team in my opinion but how great depends on how long you do it for.

Neville: I think they are both great teams because for Liverpool to win the Champions League and the league. To win two titles, to come back and win it again, would define that even more. Certainly for City to win the Champions League would define it even more. You’re looking back in history at the teams who won the Champions League… you think of the great Liverpool teams who won the European Cup, you think of Manchester United teams who won the European Cup, they are viewed as teams that people always talk about. Pep has to win the Champions League here – he’s a great manager, one of the greatest of all time and this is a great City team – but I do think he has to win that Champions League for him to finish the job here. The same with Klopp, probably has to go and win another Premier League title or another Champions League for them to get that sort of position in history. They’ve got it anyway but it further cements it.

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Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City was ‘like a boxing fight’.

Carra: It doesn’t really matter in terms of the number of points they get (Liverpool could get 94 and not win the title), it shows how great they are: the numbers, the win percentage is probably better than maybe even Sir Alex Ferguson in terms of the games they won but it’s how many trophies you’ve won and I go back to what I said six to 12 months ago, this Liverpool team is that good it should win more. That’s the big thing over the next couple of years. They’re going for another three trophies – they’ve only got their hands on one (this season). That’s what they’ve got to do year in, year out. This team is too good, what it’s done over the last three or four years under Jurgen Klopp to only have the trophies they have. Man City have got a number of trophies, so have Chelsea over the last 10 years. That’s what Liverpool have to do, certainly over the next two years when Klopp’s contract finishes.

For me I’d always go with the Champions League. It’s the biggest trophy you can win. I’d have said the opposite when Liverpool had gone so long without the title but now they’ve won the title – people may say differently because Liverpool didn’t win the title in front of their own fans – but I always go, you’ve got the big five leagues in Europe and there will be five teams who win the league but only one wins the Champions League. I think that completely transforms your club.

Keane: Not for me. I’d go with league title every day of the week. It’s what you do week in, week out, in terms of what you stand for as a player. Of course the Champions League is brilliant, there’s glamour behind it, great prestige but I think a league reflects a lot on what your team, your manager and your club stands for. Obviously it’s very difficult, Champions League is fantastic, but I’d be picking the league title.

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Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City side missed an opportunity to take all three points in their 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Neville: I think league title definitely for Liverpool this season. To go equal with Manchester United on league titles, obviously more Champions League/European Cups. If City win four in five… for Klopp to do what he’s done is unbelievable to start with but to take two titles off this Manchester City team with the wage bill they’ve got, with the wage bill less, is out of this world what he’s doing at Liverpool. He’s already won a Champions League with Liverpool, I think two league titles would be something.

Keane: They would want to win it in front of their supporters, the passion behind it, the long time, the players get a chance to enjoy it. They’d enjoy it even more.

Carra to Neville: You’re talking about Liverpool getting level with Man Utd but take that out of the equation, you’d rather win a Premier League title than a Champions League.

Neville: I’d rather a Premier League title.

Carra: So why do Man City need the Champions League then?

Neville: Because they’ve won three Premier League titles in the last four years. For Pep to define his era here, if he can win a Champions League to go with that I think it defines his period here in terms of the all-round trophies, he’d have won all of them. If you win one Premier League title it’s great but to win back to back or two defines you as a truly great team.

Who has the easier title run-in? City or Liverpool?

Image: Man City and Liverpool's remaining league fixtures

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville:

“We’ve looked at Manchester City’s run in the Premier League and we think it’s easier as historically we’ve looked at the Merseyside derby and the Manchester United game for Liverpool as tough. Those two teams are appalling at this moment in time, so they could be easier than any of the teams City have got.

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“City face Watford, who are fighting for their lives, Leeds still have to win games and there’s Newcastle away. When I look at the Liverpool fixtures, other than the Tottenham one, and I feel they can win them all.

“You may look on paper and think Liverpool have the tougher run-in, but actually it’s not. I’d rather play Manchester United and Everton at home than play West Ham away. When you think of United, it’s historical, but you can’t bring that into it.

“I think Liverpool and Man City win every single game. I’ve said City would win it all along, and then maybe Liverpool came back into it a few weeks ago but coming off today, I think it’ll just be City.”

Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher:

“I think it’s the away games which are tougher for City. You look at no matter who they’re playing at home, Liverpool or Manchester City, they expect to win. Leeds away, West Ham away and Wolves away – we’re only talking about a draw being fatal.

“City’s second leg against Atletico in the Champions League is going to be very tough in that atmosphere whereas Liverpool are virtually in the next round. You know they’re going to be playing either Bayern Munich or Villarreal.

“If City were to go out, and think that would give them a massive advantage in terms of winning the league.”

Liverpool’s fixture schedule:

April 16 – Man City (Wembley) FA Cup semi-finals

April 19 – Man United (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

April 24 – Everton (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

April 26/27 – Villarreal Champions League SF first leg

April 30 – Newcastle (a) Premier League

May 3/4 – Villarreal Champions League SF second leg

May 7 – Tottenham (h) Premier League

May 10 – Aston Villa (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 14 – FA Cup final *

May 15 – Southampton (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 22 – Wolves (h) Premier League

May 28 – Champions League final *

* Subject to progress

Manchester City’s fixture schedule:

To be rearranged: Wolves (a) Premier League

April 16 – Liverpool (Wembley) FA Cup semi-finals

April 20 – Brighton (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

April 23 – Watford (h) Premier League

April 26/27 – Real Madrid Champions League SF first leg

April 30 – Leeds (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 3/4 – Real Madrid Champions League SF second leg

May 8 – Newcastle (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 14 – FA Cup final *

May 15 – West Ham (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 22 – Aston Villa (h) Premier League

May 28 – Champions League final *

* Subject to progress

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