Gary Neville has revealed his top-four prediction ahead of the new Premier League season and is tipping Manchester City to win the title. Jurgen Klopp led Liverpool to their first domestic title in 30 years last season, with the Reds eventually finishing 22 points clear of Man City.
Pep Guardiola’s City had won the league for two successive years before Liverpool’s title triumph and will hope to reclaim top spot this season, with the 2020-21 campaign starting on September 12. Manchester United enjoyed a brilliant second-half to the 2019-20 season to climb to third, above Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and fifth-placed Leicester City.
Chelsea and City have both invested heavily so far this summer as they aim to catch Liverpool, while Man United made Donny van de Beek their first summer signing this week and are now turning their attentions to further deals as they to look to make up ground on the defending champions. Asked to reveal his top-four prediction for the new Premier League season, Neville told Stadium Astro: ‘I’m going to go Man City, Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea, but that’s with a little bit of hope rather than science!’
Asked about his expectations for Manchester United this season, Neville said: ‘Finishing third last season was a big moment for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. That demonstrated progression. ‘I think he has to break that top-two or get close to that top-two and get close to the title. ‘To get close to the top-two and win a trophy – maybe in one of the cup competition – would be acceptable. He would have to get close to winning a title by his third season.
Neville also believes Chelsea boss Lampard will be under more pressure this season following the spending spree at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have already signed Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr this summer, while they are closing in on a deal for Kai Havertz.
Former Manchester United and England defender Neville said: ‘It puts more pressure on Frank Lampard this season. It’s a big season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard.
‘Will he be under pressure if they don’t challenge for the title? It depends on the performance levels, on how much they close the gap, on whether they win a trophy. ‘There’s a few different factors.
It’s not just about where they finish. ‘Whether it’s this season or next, Manchester United and Chelsea have to break that top-two, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard have to break that top-two. ‘The owners will hope it’s this season but whether it will cost them their jobs or not I’m not sure.’ Neville added: ‘If Chelsea finish third but were in a title race with three weeks to go, that would be a huge advance on last season.
Roman Abramovich has invested heavily, I think he knows quality can be brought in with the transfer market affected by coronavirus. ‘But I also think he’s invigorated by Frank Lampard’s style of play. He’s always wanted Chelsea to be more fluid. ‘You look at Lampard’s team and they’re better to watch. I think Roman Abramovich is heartened by the academy players coming through and is excited by the team.’