'The team to beat' – Jermain Defoe makes Premier League title prediction

Jermaine Defoe has named his favourite to win the Premier League title this season as Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City look to pull clear of their domestic rivals.

European champions Chelsea have won seven of their nine league games this season to sit top of the table on 22 points.

The Blues have thrived since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager and thrashed Norwich City 7-0 on Saturday to consolidate their position at the top of the league.

Liverpool, who won the title in 2020, are one point behind Chelsea in second and look back to their very best, having smashed rivals Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Defending champions Manchester City are one point off Liverpool and two behind Chelsea and also won at the weekend, proving too strong for Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

The top-three have pulled three points clear of fourth-placed West Ham and five points clear of the likes of Brighton, Tottenham and Manchester United, and appear set to battle it out for the title this season.

But despite the challenges of Chelsea and Liverpool, former England striker Defoe views Manchester City as the ‘team to beat’ in the Premier League and the favourites for the title.

‘I still think that Manchester City are the team to beat,’ said Defoe, who is taking two lucky fans to watch England at Wembley through TheWinnr.com.

‘Watching people saying they don’t have a number nine – they played with a false nine all of last season, without a proper number nine, [Sergio] Aguero didn’t play and they won the league.

‘For me, I still feel like they are the team to beat, with the options that they’ve got, the quality that they’ve got, bringing in Jack Grealish – [Raheem] Sterling doesn’t even start! And the know-how, they know how to do it.

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‘I know Liverpool are looking good, and the front three are frightening – I think the front three of [Roberto] Firmino, [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane are back to where they were before – but I still think that Man City are the team to beat.’

Defoe hopes his former club Tottenham can climb up the table, with Spurs struggling under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, losing three of their last five games.

He added: ‘Harry [Kane] and Son [Heung-min] are two unbelievable players and if you look you look at the goals and assists that they got last season, they’ve got that understanding – like Yorke and Cole had that understanding.

‘It’s probably just natural to be honest, sometimes it just happens, like myself and Crouch!

‘Being a Tottenham man, I want Nuno to do well and I want the club to do well; it’s a massive football club and it’s a special club with special fans, an unbelievable stadium and an unbelievable training ground.

‘It’s such a perfect time to be at the club and getting Harry firing again, hopefully we can do well.’

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