Roy Evans says Liverpool can win Premier League this season

By Paul PlunkettBBC Sport
Liverpool trio Ronnie Moran, Kenny Dalglish and Roy Evans
Liverpool won the league 12 times during Roy Evans's time at Anfield

Former manager Roy Evans believes Liverpool are serious contenders to win the Premier League this season.

The Reds have not won a top-flight title for 21 years, with rivals Manchester United lifting the Premier League 12 times during that period.

The two sides meet on Saturday - and Liverpool can close the gap on leaders United to three points with a win.

Evans, Anfield boss between 1994 and 1998, insisted: "We could do it this year, never write Liverpool off."

Evans, 63, played, coached and managed at Liverpool during an illustrious 33-year spell which saw the Reds enjoy unprecedented success. They won 12 league titles, four European Cups, five FA Cups, five League Cups and the Uefa Cup twice.

But the run of league titles ended in 1990 with manager Kenny Dalglish at the helm.

The Scot is back at Anfield after a 20-year absence and his second spell as manager has been backed financially by American owner John W Henry, who celebrates a year in charge on Saturday.

Dalglish has spent £115m, bringing in Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Sebastian Coates.

Evans believes that depth of investment and Dalglish's know-how makes Liverpool realistic title contenders.

He said: "You have got to believe you can win it. There's no point being in it if you don't think you can win it, certainly at Liverpool's level - that's where you've got to be.

"You've got to have in your mind that, if you went on a bit of a run, you have got a chance.

"We've got to keep progressing. We could do it this year, never write Liverpool off.

"There's still plenty of football to go. Liverpool play Manchester United on Saturday at Anfield and, if we beat them, it will set them back a little bit and give us lots of confidence.

"Liverpool are going the right way, they are going forward - and I think it's been a fantastic year under John Henry."

Liverpool have beaten Manchester United in their last three Premier League meetings at Anfield, the latest being a 3-1 victory under Dalglish.

But United have won six of their opening seven league games this season and, along with rivals Manchester City, seem to be the team to beat.

Henry, who paid £300m for Liverpool, has set a top-four finish as a minimum target for Dalglish - and Evans believes that is realistic.

He added: "Manchester United look strong and Manchester City are progressing but a few of the others seem to have dropped away.

"Arsenal don't seem to be what they were and Tottenham are just starting to find their feet after a slow start. If we can get ourselves in that top four where we should be, that will be great progress."