Gary Neville reckons Liverpool should be willing to ‘kick the Champions League into touch’ to counter fatigue and significantly boost their chances of a first Premier League title.
Liverpool spent more than £170million in the summer in an attempt to bridge the huge gap to last season’s runaway champions Manchester City.
The bid to overhaul Pep Guardiola’s side has started encouragingly, with the Reds top of the table on goal difference winning their first four games.
Jurgen Klopp will seek to balance these domestic ambitions with the team’s desire to go one step further than they managed last season and win the Champions League.
Neville, though, reckons Liverpool’s title bid could come undone if they attempt to devote themselves totally to both competitions, warning that the squad may not be strong enough to cope with the demands.
“The Champions League — if I was Liverpool, I would kick it into touch,” the former Manchester United player told the Times. “I know that’s very hard to do but if they could go into February, March, April without it, I think they could have a real chance if they had free weeks.
“Why? I think their method is exhausting for the front three. The drop in quality below them, if there are injuries or playing Wednesday, Saturday, I think it will take its toll.”
Nonetheless, Neville admits that he is ‘worried’ about what Liverpool might achieve this season, particularly as United struggle.
“As a United fan, I am very concerned about them,” he confessed. “This front three have always been fantastic and now the midfield can run, it can pass, it has depth. And the back four looks a unit.
“The football they are playing under Jurgen Klopp, it’s fantastic. As a United fan, that’s a worry because it is still that mentality of ‘anyone but them’.
“Same for them, anyone but us. That’s not ‘Gary Neville he’s a Red, he hates Scousers’. Those days have gone. I am more thoughtful now.
“But it’s a worry. I got a glimpse a few years ago when Brendan Rodgers was going for it, thousands lining the streets, the fireworks before a game. I thought then, ‘Imagine if they win this.’ I was turning up at Anfield three hours early because I couldn’t get into the ground otherwise.”
“I might have to come off Sky Sports if Liverpool win the league,” he added.
Liverpool face their first serious test of the campaign on Saturday when they take on Tottenham at Wembley, where they lost 4-1 last season.