Chelsea and Manchester United still ahead of Liverpool in the title stakes

Although you’ve got to give Liverpool credit for coming from behind against Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday, I’ve seen nothing this season to convince me that the title is heading anywhere but Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford.

I said in August it was going to be a two-horse race and that’s how I still see it. Chelsea and United have been ticking over so far, getting the results without really doing anything special, but one or both of them are going to click at some point and make a real charge.

Liverpool are nothing if not solid but I just can’t see them finding the extra gear a team needs if they want to be champions. They’re still to reliant on Torres and Gerrard and I just don’t think they’ve got enough strength in depth to sustain the challenge in the New Year.

Chelsea have shown uncharacteristic weaknesses this season, especially at Stamford Bridge, but they have really missed Drogba and when he’s 100% again they’ll be a different proposition. Anelka has come in and done a great job but for me Chelsea are still a more dangerous and stronger team with Drogba in the side.

United have been patchy as well. Losing Ronaldo was a massive blow at the start of the campaign but he’s starting to show the form of last season and if he continues to improve with every game, anything is possible.

For me, though, the biggest advantage United have over Chelsea is the fact they’ve already played their tricky away games. They’ve been to Stamford Bridge, Anfield and the Emirates, as well playing at Everton, Spurs,Villa and Man City, which means they’ve got the kinder fixture list heading into the New Year.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the title race was as tight as it was last season, maybe even going down to the final day. I’d still put my money on United but the truth is, at this stage, it could go either way.

Written by Gary Pallister and previously published on

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