Peter Crouch has admitted he is bemused by the pre-season odds for this season’s Premier League title race, after Manchester City were installed as favourites.
Speaking exclusively to TEAMtalk at a BT Sport event, former Liverpool striker Crouch believes his former club should be viewed the team to beat in the title race after they finished a massive 18-points ahead of Manchester City last season.
While he is expecting a closer title race this season, Crouch told us that Liverpool deserved to be viewed as the team to beat.
“I don’t see how the bookies are making Man City favourites for the title,” said Crouch, who scored 42 goals for Liverpool after arriving at the club in 2005.
“At this moment, Liverpool are clearly the team to beat, they have to be favourites. They dropped off at the end of last season, but that is human nature when you win the league at a canter. It has to be Liverpool as strong favourites, but I think it will be a lot closer than last year.”
Crouch went on to suggest Pep Guardiola will not allow his City team to ‘fail’ for a second successive season, after they lost 12 times in all competitions last season.
“Man City will make improvements, no question about that and they two signings they have made in Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres will help them, but I don’t see how anyone can say they are favourites to win the title,” he added.
“They need to strengthen defensively because going forward they are just as good as Liverpool, so let’s see if they improve in that department.
City ‘a wounded animal’
“They are a wounded animal, their pride was hurt last season. To be that far behind Liverpool, to go out of the Champions League in the manner they did and to lose as many games as they did, I’d be amazed if they didn’t snap back and show what they are all about this season.
“The mentality of their manager and their players will not allow what happened last year to be repeated. We have to say that last year was a failure.
“For a club of that size, with the ability of the players they have in the dressing room and the money behind them, they cannot have another season like that. I expect they will be 100 per-cent at it this season and there is no way the title race will be that one-sided.”
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