Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville says he is edging towards making Chelsea favourites for the title after seeing the first eight rounds of Premier League fixtures.
The former Manchester United captain backed City to finish top at the start of the season, and while he has not gone back on his prediction, he is concerned that the decision not to sign a striker may come back to haunt manager Pep Guardiola:
“You have to go City [as favourites] because I picked them at the start of the season but I do think Chelsea. They’ve played Arsenal, City, Tottenham, Liverpool and they’re top of the league, they’ve had a really tough start. I do think City’s issue with no centre forward might just bite them.”
“Liverpool have one of the best XIs but I’m not sure, one or two things could go wrong like it did last season with Van Dijk or if Salah got injured, I think they’re a little bit exposed to that. I think Chelsea’s side is really strong, we’ve seen without two or three centre-halves they can perform. I’m saying City but I do think Chelsea could go close if not win it.”
Although Chelsea are currently top of the table, it is surprising to see that Neville is so positive about their chances. They were comprehensively outplayed by the Citizens on their own patch last month, while they were battered by Brentford for most of the second half last night.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are undoubtedly extremely strong defensively, but they have hardly been free-flowing in terms of their attacking play this campaign. We shall see how things shape up in the title race over the coming months.