Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce believes Liverpool are genuine title contenders.

"This is the first one (since they last won the title in 1990) who has had a real good crack at Manchester United," he said.

"Going into January they are there or thereabouts and you have to pay them the hugest respect for that, there are not many teams beating them these days.

"They are very strong defensively and, with Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, they have exceptional players.

"It will be interesting to see if they can last the pace with Manchester but they are making a right good fist of it.

"But when Liverpool come to town it is always a great occasion against one of the giants of the game and we are looking forward to it."