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Former Man Utd star Hargreaves says Liverpool are 'close' to being title winners

4:26 PM SGT 30/8/17
Sadio Mane Roberto Firmino Mohamed Salah Emre Can Liverpool 2017
The former Bayern midfielder believes Jurgen Klopp's side are capable of challenging in the 2017-18 season but is still concerned about their defence

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes Liverpool are genuine Premier League title contenders and that they are "close" to being in a position to win it.

After a 3-3 draw in their opening Premier League game at Watford, the Reds have picked up maximum points with victories over Crystal Palace and Arsenal respectively.

10/1 for the Reds to win the Premier League

The 4-0 win over the Gunners was particularly impressive, with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah in devastating form, and Hargreaves believes they are close to being capable of going all the way.

He told SportBild: "Liverpool are close to it [being title winners]. The development since Klopp took over in October 2015 is similar to his time in Dortmund. There he won the Bundesliga title in his third year.

"The Premier League is very hard to win. You have to be a bit lucky too. But you also make your own luck. And Klopp works very hard with his players."

Criticism has again been levelled at Liverpool for their inability to effectively defend set-piece situations and Hargreaves believes they are missing a John Terry or Rio Ferdinand-type presence at the back.

He added: "You can't practice that [defending set-pieces well]. To be honest at Bayern we actually never really practiced them. You simply must have players who are unbeatable in the air.

"Maybe someone like, back then, John Terry at Chelsea or Rio Ferdinand at Manchester United is missing to solve these problems."