Liverpool legend John Aldridge believes that the break in the Champions League is coming at exactly the right time for the Reds' title rivals Manchester City.
Manchester City have made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners and are one of the favourites to lift the trophy at the end of the season.
But the defending Premier League champions are 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool in the league, while Manchester United exposed their defensive frailties with precision in the Manchester derby last weekend.
Aymeric Laporte’s injury and the inconsistent performances of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have forced Pep Guardiola to play Fernandinho at the back.
Aldridge believes Manchester City will spend big money to bring in a defender in January and the break in European football has come as a breather for Guardiola’s side.
He feels Manchester City could have been struggling in Europe as well if the Champions League had continued in December as they are in no shape at the moment to take on the top teams.
Aldridge said on LFC TV after Liverpool beat Salzburg: “They will go out and spend a £100m on a defender or do something like that, which will steady the ship for them.
“If this competition was to go into December, they could be out because of the way they have been playing and the players they are missing.
“They would have found it very difficult over two legs, but they have got a respite now for a couple of months.”
It remains to be seen if Pep Guardiola moves to bring in a defender in next month's transfer window, and whether they can chip away at Liverpool's lead in the Premier League table over the busy December period.