Arsenal legend Paul Merson has named the four teams he expects to be challenging for the Premier League title next season.
The pundit thinks it’s going to be a close-run thing, with reigning champions Manchester City likely to come out on top, though Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea will be their main challengers and won’t be too far behind them.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, this ex-Gunner does not see his old club being one of the main names in the frame for the title, as he expects they’ll join the likes of Tottenham and Leicester City in competing for European places.
Man City came out on top last season, but one imagines they might face a tougher time winning it in 2021/22, with Man Utd already strengthening, while Liverpool surely won’t have as much bad luck with injuries again.
Chelsea, meanwhile, look a different team since Thomas Tuchel took over in January and led them to Champions League glory, beating City 1-0 in the final.
Discussing the title race in his Sportskeeda column, Merson said: “As we edge closer to the 2021-22 edition of the Premier League, I strongly believe this could be one of the tightest ones in recent memory.
“Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea can all win the title – that’s a four-way battle for the Premier League crown and I don’t expect any of them to run away with it by a margin of double-digit points.”
He added: “Some might say Manchester City winning the Premier League title isn’t exactly a bold prediction, but as I said earlier, four teams could win it and it’s almost impossible to predict the outcome at this point in time.
“There’s a big gulf of class between the top four sides in the Premier League and the rest, so the title race could boil down to who wins the mini-league between Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.
“There is another mini-league involving Arsenal, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton that could decide the rest of the European spots.
“I can’t see any of the bottom half teams getting points from the top four in the 2021-22 Premier League season – I’d be really shocked if that were to be the case. We could witness one of the closest title races in ages, but I expect Manchester City to come out on top this season.”