Gary Lineker is backing Manchester City to wrestle back the Premier League trophy next season – beating Liverpool by a whisker.
Pep Guardiola’s men blew their chances of a third successive title last term as the Reds romped to a first league crown in 30 years.
While Jurgen Klopp’s team were virtually unbeatable last year, their task was made a little easier because of City’s lack of consistency.
The likes of Chelsea and Manchester United are being tipped to pushed the top two of the last few years next season, however Lineker cannot see a change.
But the Match of the Day host reckons that Liverpool’s failure to strengthen this summer could see City overtake them.
“We’ve seen it many times before — outstanding teams win the Premier League but then fail to strengthen,” he wrote in his column for The Sun .
“And are we about to see champions Liverpool make the same mistake?
“At the very least, it will give other teams a chance and I’m expecting a much closer title race than last season, which has to be a good thing.
“I’m 50/50 over whether it will be City or Liverpool who lifts the trophy in May.
“But if I had to go one way I’d go with Pep Guardiola’s men — only just though . . . maybe 51/49!
“I might feel differently if Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp can sign Thiago Alcantara, who is a wonderful player.
“And with their outstanding front three of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, they won’t be far away.
“But experience tells us that title winners need to invest in their squad rather than stand still.
“You only need to look at Manchester City last season to see that.
“This summer Guardiola has set about strengthening the areas that let him down last season.
“I really like Nathan Ake and believe he’ll fit in well under Pep — and I’d expect another centre-back to be following him to the Etihad.”
Liverpool begin the defence of their title at home to newly-promoted Leeds United today, while City do not play until next weekend, when they play Wolves.
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