Paul Parker believes that Manchester City will not be able to challenge Liverpool for the Premier League this season.

Liverpool will leave City behind again

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You have to believe that Liverpool can win again because of just how many points they won by last year. They’ve got enough to retain it. Retaining the league used to be what Liverpool were about. To flex their muscles, for us to believe they are back, they need to retain it.

Nathan Ake

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City don’t look like they can compete yet. You worry defensively. Nathan Ake was a good acquisition, but they need more natural defenders. Most of their backline are not up to it, and we don’t know how often Ake will even feature. I’m worried about how far they fell behind and how much they will rely upon Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero staying fit.

When you look at the Premier League and the Champions League, and how far Liverpool won by, how many goals Bayern Munich put past Barcelona, it’s not a good reflection on the competitions. There’s something fundamentally wrong with top-flight football.

Chelsea might be surprise challengers for the title

I think Chelsea are the team who will push Liverpool the hardest. A lot of attention has been paid to the signings of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, but it is Hakim Ziyech who’s the one. Everyone will talk about the big-money duo, and because they got him early and with the introduction of lockdown, he’s under the radar.

Hakim Ziyech - Ajax Amsterdam

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I’ve seen him play live twice in the Champions League and he was fantastic up and down the left-hand side. Having been coached at Ajax he’s all about technical ability, he’s high energy, and when you compare him to Pedro and Willian, Chelsea fans are not going to miss those two.

Manchester United have done nowhere near enough in the market

Manchester United’s main aim for this season has to be to cement their place back in the top four. If they bought four or five top players they might be able to aim higher, but for now all they have is Donny van de Beek. He was very cheap, incredible value when you see Leicester City wanted around £100 million for James Maddison.

Donny van de Beek

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They’ve got a Champions League player for less money, but if anyone is going to take them seriously, for them to challenge for the title, they need far more. After spending all this money on high earners they don’t really have more than 13 players in the squad who can compete.

There’s talk of a late move for Jadon Sancho, but I don’t think he’d be the difference. They need a commanding centre half and a striker. They don’t need another wide player, they need to stop relying on Anthony Martial. If they’re going to spend over 100 million they should do it on a striker.

Tottenham Hotspur could be brought down by Jose Mourinho’s ways

I’m expecting problems at Spurs this season. They’ve brought a few players in but they haven’t been able to spend big. Jose Mourinho's going to start falling out with players and chafe because he can’t bring in who he wants. All you can see is trouble.

Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur

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Spurs fans will grow disillusioned because of the football they will be playing. They might win, but they won’t play the football that they’re famous for. Players’ roles will change, negatively. Spurs were the team to watch under Mauricio Pochettino. They could improvise. They could beat anybody. Now they will be grinding out games as they did before and after lockdown. They might get results but it won’t be as they used to play.

Flair players don’t suit Mourinho. So many players like Dele Alli have struggled with him, like Joe Cole did at Chelsea. A lot of players have had things taken away from them because the priority is when they don’t have the ball they have to play a certain way, and that hinders attacking players.

Arsenal look revitalised under Mikel Arteta

One of the teams I’m most positive about is Arsenal. They look like a side who can win big games under Mikel Arteta. They’ve beaten Liverpool and other sides in the top four. The way that Arteta had them playing shows that he has sorted them out.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

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He stopped playing Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who simply wasn’t good enough. On the left, Kieran Tierney was a good signing who has kept improving. Signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new deal means that they’ll get 20 goals a season from him and the midfield are looking better. While other sides are treading water or going back, Arsenal are one of the few sides who have improved.

Relegation looms for Brighton

West Bromwich Albion look like the favourites to go down, but I think Aston Villa could be in trouble again. Yes, they’re spending big, but they spent £150 million last season so there’s no guarantee it will work this time. They have Ollie Watkins but there’s no assurance he can make the step up. If he scores 20 goals a season then they’ll stay up, but defensively Villa are still vulnerable.

Ollie Watkins

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West Ham will be tougher to beat this season, I think. David Moyes got it right post-lockdown and turned them around. He got them working hard and left out players who would have played before. He got them to stay up, and he did it at a canter in the end.

I wonder if Brighton can improve. They play nicer football under Graham Potter than they did under Chris Hughton, but the priority is still just staying in the league. They will try to stabilise but they are going to have a fight on their hands to stay up.

Next season could be another unsettled one for players

The weird side of the game has gone. The players have got used to the system and are in a settled frame of mind. In fact, to get in front of fans again might be a problem, because it’ll be another change. Players who are used to instructions from the touchline will now have to get accustomed to getting told what to do or barracked by the fans.

Some clubs, like Everton and Newcastle, never got used to it. Some players in the league put in disgraceful efforts. Some of the football we saw was really poor, but it should be much better now.

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