Pundit names Chelsea and surprise choice as two clubs to rival Liverpool, Man City for Premier League title

Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel embrace

Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has named the two clubs he believes will challenge Manchester City and his old club for the Premier League title next season.

City and Liverpool have been the teams to beat in the last five campaigns, with Pep Guardiola’s men claiming the title four times and Jurgen Klopp’s side the once.

The dominant duo pulled away from the pack again last term, with City eventually coming out on top.

However, Downing thinks Premier League title race will be more evenly contested in 2022-23.

The ex-England attacker is sure Chelsea can step up the challenge, but also believes Tottenham are capable.

The Blues finished third last season but were a whopping 19 points behind champions City. Spurs, meanwhile, were a further three points back.

And speaking ahead of the return of Masters football from July 8, Downing said: “I can see Chelsea being the club to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool next season.

“They’ve had a new takeover, got a good manager who I’m sure will stay now with the new backing and owners.

“If they get Raheem Sterling in and Romelu Lukaku goes and they revamp the squad, they’ve got to be in with a shout because they are a quality team.

Tottenham in the title mix

“Tottenham could be an outsider; I’m not saying title-winners, but they should be pushing because Antonio Conte did an unbelievable job with that team, who were struggling at one point.

“They’ve strengthened this summer and I’m sure they will continue and that’s why he has stayed. I wouldn’t rule them out of challenging.”

The new Premier League campaign gets underway on the weekend August 6.

Both City and Liverpool face testing trips to London when they take on West Ham and Fulham respectively. Chelsea, meanwhile, are away at Everton and Tottenham take on Southampton in north London.