The Andy Gray Column: Man City are the team to beat

Summary: ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to SouthWestLondoner….


IT IS early days in the new Premier League season but when it comes to the title race I firmly believe whoever finishes above Manchester City this year will be crowned champions – and I’m not sure anyone is equipped to do that.

Manchester United and Chelsea may have made big splashes in the transfer market but I still fancy Roberto Mancini’s men to claim back-to-back titles.

Chelsea will be challenging – I like the business they have done, especially bringing in Eden Hazard who looks the real deal.

The young Brazilian midfielder Oscar has plenty of potential too and looked a threat at the Olympics.

But Chelsea still seem a little loose at the back, and it is as if they have accepted the fact that they are going to let goals in because they are going to attack teams more.

They were ruthlessly exposed by Falcao and Atletico Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup last week, and it will be interesting to see how Roberto Di Matteo responds at QPR when the Premier League returns after the international break.

Does he tighten things up at the back or does he stick with this newfound gung-ho approach? One thing is for sure – that is definitely a dangerous game to play if you want to win a league title.

Sir Alex Ferguson has got the bit between his teeth and you can tell that the Manchester United manager wants the title back

His purchase of Robin van Persie for £24 million proves it, and the Dutchman has made an immediate impact with four goals in three games.

There is no question that City are the team to beat though – the squad is undoubtedly strong enough and they added well on the last day of the transfer window by bringing in Javi Garcia from Benfica and Scott Sinclair from Swansea.

Those two acquisitions will make them stronger and a much tougher proposition than they would have been without them.

Mancini was desperately trying to get a couple of extra players in and he will be satisfied he finally got his men.

There are others teams on the fringes like Arsenal who looked good at Liverpool on the weekend but there are obvious doubts about whether they can replace Van Persie’s goals.

In terms of the fighting for the top four, Spurs have not got off to the best of starts but they will challenge and I have a feeling Everton might surprise a few.

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