Liverpool star James Milner gives verdict on Manchester United title challenge

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Liverpool midfielder James Milner has opened up on the club’s position in the Premier League and believes Manchester United are the only team putting a good run of form together as things stand. The two giants of English football are set to meet on January 17.

The Reds sit top of the table but are being pushed hard by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Milner admits the form of the champions has been up and down and has told his team-mates they need to kick on now.

Liverpool want to defend the title they won last season after a 30-year wait for the trophy.

He said: “I think it [Liverpool’s current position] is a positive but it seems to be at this moment in time that nobody wants to take it by the scruff of the neck.

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“We’ve dropped points, everyone seems to be dropping points. United have had a good run and they’re probably the only team who are putting a run together.

“It’s important that we need to kick on now and get a few three-pointers.

“But the world is in a very strange place at the moment and it’s the same in football.

“Everybody’s lives are upside down, it’s tough mentally for everybody and it’s the same in football. We just need to keep plugging away.”

Milner is also pleased some players are starting to return from injury for Liverpool.

Thiago Alcantara came on as a substitute in the Reds’ last game against Newcastle which they drew 0-0.

“The amount of minutes some of the lads have played, it’s nice to see a few of the boys getting back,” said Milner.

“Thiago getting on, he showed his quality.

“I think where we are in the league we would have liked to have more points on the board.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has also given an encouraging update on Virgil van Dijk.

“Good, very good. I have no problem with talking about Virgil van Dijk. It’s very good but still a long way to go, that’s this kind of injury,” said the Reds boss.

“I’m happy when I see these videos, to be honest, because it just shows that he makes good progress. But it will still take a lot of time, that’s how it is.

“I would like to say something else but these are the facts, unfortunately.”

Liverpool return to action against Southampton in the Premier League on Monday (8pm).

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