GARY NEVILLE and Jamie Carragher disagree on which team will win the Premier League this season.
Arsenal currently lead the way, having picked up an astonishing 50 points from 19 matches thus far.
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher made their mid-season predictions[/caption]
They sit five points above Manchester City with a game in hand.
With the two title rivals still to play each other twice, the Prem crown remains up for grabs.
And the Sky Sports pundits picked different winners during their annual MNF mid-season predictions show last night.
They then backed different teams to beat the drop – but they were unanimous on who the player and manager of the season should be.
Here, SunSport take a look at Neville and Carragher’s picks as we enter the second half of the campaign.
Neville: Manchester City
On the Prem title race, Carra said: “I think the thing with Arsenal is not just the points gap, it’s their performance in big games.
“If you go back to the World Cup finishing, they obliterated Brighton, drew with Newcastle, the best defence in the league, although they only just got over the line (against Man United).
“We’re all expecting City to kick on, they will, but once they start getting to March and April I cant help but think those City players know that if they win the Champions League it won’t matter that they wont win the league.”
Neville, meanwhile, reasoned: “I get asked this every 10 minutes at the moment. Even Arsenal fans, they must get tired of asking these questions.
“It’s too far out to be thinking about the title. Going back to my own experience, I think City are still messing about, they haven’t really started this season yet, when they start to purr they will hunt Arsenal down.
“That doesn’t always work. Blackburn held us (Neville’s Man United) off, Newcastle didn’t. The run in doesn’t start until nine games in.”
Carra backs Arsenal to win the title[/caption]
Carragher: Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle
Neville: Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham
Former Liverpool ace Carragher reckons that his old club, as well as Tottenham and Chelsea, have given themselves too much to do to overhaul the current top four.
Citing two specific factors that will give Newcastle the edge over them, he reasoned: “They’re not involved in European football and they’re defensively the best team in the league.”
Neville went on to ask: “Have your ruled your own mob out then?”
And Carra responded: “No, I don’t think Liverpool will get in the top four.”
Tottenham are Neville’s pick to pip Newcastle to a place in next season’s Champions League – despite their poor run prior to last night’s 1-0 win at Fulham.
Antonio Conte’s side are currently three points behind Newcastle having played a game more.
The former Manchester United man has backed ex-Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa to keep Everton in the Premier League.
Bielsa, 67, is the Toffees’ first choice to replace Frank Lampard, and Neville claimed: “I think you can see Bielsa’s influence at Leeds now. He’d get the fans on side at Everton.”
Carragher, meanwhile, has been impressed by Wolves boss Julen Lopetegei, saying: “I just think the manager’s come in and done a really good job.
“Getting them a really tough team to beat. I think his experience in terms of managing Sevilla, Real Madrid and Spain – he’s a top manager.
“And I just think when you actually look at some of the quality, certainly in midfield with the likes of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho…”
Neville then appeared to hedge his bets, adding: “I don’t think Wolves will go down either by the way for the matter, just to be clear.”
Julen Lopetegui has already impressed both pundits[/caption]
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Carragher: Erling Haaland
Neville: Erling Haaland
Norwegian striker has already scored 25 Prem goals this season, and has bagged FOUR Man City hat-tricks.
Both Neville and Carragher picked him as their unanimous player of the year, although the latter had second thoughts.
Pointing to the league leaders, Carra said: “I think all the players will vote for Haaland, that’s what I’m trying to say.”
Urged by Neville to “have his own mind”, Carragher added: “I think Odegaard at Arsenal has been absolutely sensational, but I just know what players are like, I’ve been in the dressing room when they get the [ballot].
“Obviously Haaland’s scored so many goals, he’s been amazing and I totally get it, but I just think if Arsenal go on to win the title, the role of Odegaard… He’s been sensational, I think he’s brilliant.
“I think he’s the closest thing to Kevin De Bruyne. That player, every time he gets the ball you think something’s gonna happen, he was fantastic, he was unbelievable.”
Norwegian duo are tipped to be in the player of the year race[/caption]
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Carragher: Mikel Arteta
Neville: Mikel Arteta
The Arsenal boss is an easy choice as manager of the year this term.
Neville, 47, has consistently claimed in recent weeks that the Gunners won’t win the league… but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been impressed.
He said of the Spaniard: “You talk about young managers breaking towards the ‘super-managers’ like Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte – league winners – it’s so tough.
“And Arteta has got an unbelievable chance. If you win the league with Arsenal you are into Barcelona and Real Madrid territory where you could achieve something magical.”
Mikel Arteta has guided Arsenal to the top of the Prem[/caption]