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Premier League title race: Gary Neville says Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola will be key to Liverpool and Man City's chances

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville

With the battle between Liverpool and Manchester City set to go down to the wire, Gary Neville says Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola can have a big say in the destination of the Premier League title.

The former Manchester United captain tasted success under Sir Alex Ferguson for years at Old Trafford, and knows the value a manager can have in the final stages of a title race.

With just a point currently separating City and Liverpool, it promises to be a close run thing for the title and Neville says that the role of the manager is a key one in deciding the title.

Liverpool have suffered a few disappointing draws of late, but victories over Burnley in the league and Bayern Munich in the Champions League have put them back into top gear.

Pep Guardiola is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the business and led City to a record-breaking title success last season, but Neville has also been impressed with how Klopp has handled himself recently in the face of severe pressure.

"The managers are so important and I think Jurgen Klopp is a big reason why Liverpool are still up there," Neville told Sporting Life.

"He has kept calm, not shirked interviews and set a good example to his players and they may have come out of a difficult spell thanks to him.

"Pep Guardiola, we know what he expects from his side with his experience and as leaders they are incredibly influential, and they have a big role to play in deciding who wins the title."

Give Ole the job

Another manager attracting huge attention is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who now seems certain to get the Manchester United job full-time after an astonishing impact as caretaker at Old Trafford.

United finally lost a league game under Solskjaer with defeat at Arsenal last time out, but Solskjaer has led them on an unprecedented run since taking charge, including their miraculous victory at PSG in the Champions League.

"Ole has made it hard to not get the job," Neville added.

"He has lifted the place, is getting results and the best time to do it would probably be in the international break in March, when they have time to sort it.

"He may already know the outcome, the club may already know and this time would make sense to announce it, with the second leg against PSG in the Champions League out of the way.

"The records they are setting is astonishing and the points they are collecting, it is difficult to win two or three away games in a row as they did, never mind nine.

"The game against Liverpool was goalless, but they had the first-half injuries and came through it without losing and he has handled each of the opposition brilliantly."

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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team highlight their best Saturday bets, with Matt Brocklebank waiting until the evening card at Kempton and George Pitts looking at Euro 2020 qualifiers.

2

Sporting Life Accumulator

With the international break pausing action in the Championship, we have backed four teams in League One and League Two...

Check out today's Paper Talk3

Paper Talk: £65m Maguire?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives green light on big-money Harry Maguire move and Man City want £105m-rated wonderkid, according to the back pages.

Birmingham City's St. Andrews Stadium4

Birmingham hit with points deduction

Birmingham City have been deducted nine points following a breach of the EFL's Profitability and Sustainability rules.

Neymar celebrates5

Neymar hit with UEFA charge

UEFA have charged Neymar with "insulting acts against a match official" due to social media comments he made after PSG's controversial Champions League defeat to Manchester United.

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