Gary Neville says he is not sure how Liverpool or Arsenal will be able to win the title this season.
The Sky Sports pundit, speaking on the first Monday Night Football of the season, was blown away by Chelsea’s impressive start to the campaign as they dismantled Burnley in a 3-1 win and he has already questioned Arsenal’s and Liverpool’s credentials to win the title.
The two sides finished in last season’s top four, but Neville feels that they have slipped behind Manchester City and Chelsea over the summer.
“I’m not writing Arsenal and Liverpool off on the first day of the season, but I’m not sure how they can win it,” he said.
“You look at champions and they have to fight when they have to fight. Chelsea have got a back four that’s massive and they’ve got Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa. Man City are the only side that can match them for size and power.
“Of those two, definitely one of them is going to win the league, I think. In power, size and physicality I don’t see how the other teams can match them.
“In the football they can match them – but City and Chelsea can also play great football. They can out-football you as well!”
All four of the aforementioned sides got off to winning starts to their Premier League campaigns, but the ease with which Chelsea got the three points last night was in contrast to the other three.
Whilst City, Arsenal and Liverpool all scraped past their opening day opponents, the Blues were hugely impressive against Burnley and were by far the better side.
It was a display of patient, passing football with their new signings shining. Cesc Fabregas was at the heart of everything good Chelsea did – showing his usual range of passing – whilst Diego Costa got his Blues career off to the perfect start, netting on his debut.
It was a performance that made a statement that Jose Mourinho’s side were the rightful favourites for the title and it was one which clearly impressed Neville.
Arsenal and Liverpool have both had busy transfer windows, and spent big, but the former Manchester United player suggests that they have still been left-behind by the two richest Premier League teams.
Gunners and Reds fans will dispute those claims, though. Arsene Wenger’s buy of Alexis Sanchez could turn out to be one of the signings of the summer, whilst Brendan Rodgers certainly has more quality at his disposal this year, despite the loss of Luis Suarez.
It will take a marked improvement from both to keep up with the pace which will be set by Neville’s two tips, though. City and Chelsea both look very strong this year and if Neville is correct that they will simply over-power the rest of the league, there could be a lot of disappointed supporters from other clubs who expected their team to make a title challenge this year.