Rio Ferdinand names ‘seriously impressive’ Manchester City as new Premier League title favourites

Rio Ferdinand says the Premier League champions look ‘head and shoulders’ above their rivals

Manchester City are the team to beat in the Premier League this season, according to former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who had named Chelsea as his title favourites before the start of the campaign.

The Premier League champions have negotiated a tough start to the season which has seen them face Tottenham, Leicester, Arsenal and, in the past week, Chelsea and Liverpool away from home.

Pep Guardiola’s side produced a dominant performance to beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge and displayed grit against Liverpool to come from behind twice and claim a draw at Anfield on Sunday.

Those results have swayed Ferdinand, who had tipped European champions Chelsea before a ball was kicked, and says the only think stopping Guardiola’s side from retaining their title is a lack of a central striker and their occasional poor finishing.

Asked on his Vibe with Five show whether he had seen the future champions at Anfield on Saturday, Ferdinand said: “Do you know what, it ebbs and flows.

“In the first four of five games of the season, I was sitting there and thinking Chelsea are the team to beat. Now move on three of four games past that stage and I’m thinking Manchester City are the team to beat. They have looked seriously impressive against the big teams

“They dominated Chelsea away, they dominated Liverpool in the first half [on Sunday] and should have seen the game off. They might be a bit disappointed with a 2-2 draw but they look the most impressive to me. They look formidable at times.

“There’s no doubt they’re going to dominate 99 per cent of their games but it’s just about the finishing. Once they get over that element of missing chances and not finishing off their great build up play, if get that right, I think they are the team to beat.

“They’ve got the experience and the class and the players. Tactically, they seem to be head and shoulders above everyone else.”

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