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Hughes wants City to replace 'vulnerable' Liverpool

Mark Hughes believes Manchester City can take advantage of the current problems at Liverpool and break into the top four.

Liverpool have struggled throughout the season so far and, following their 2-1 defeat at home to Arsenal on Sunday, they are now five points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

City, Villa and Tottenham are all considered contenders to finally break up the 'big four' domination and, while Hughes believes Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal cannot be caught this season, he feels Liverpool are now the weak link.

"One team is usually deemed as the most vulnerable - and currently that is Liverpool," Hughes said. "It is highly unlikely to change now. Teams won't be challenging for the top two or three. That is not going to happen this year.

"It probably means only one club is going to get into the top four. Maybe it will change in the future, but this season fourth place is one that is up for grabs.

"I am sure Rafael Benitez would argue about it. The game is all about opinions, but if we benefit from other teams not being able to get positive results then hopefully we will take the opportunity that presents itself."

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