Damien Delaney says Chelsea are his pick to lift the Premier League trophy next May, but only if Man City fail to sign Harry Kane.
The Champions League winners began their season with an impressive 3-0 win against Crystal Palace, as they look to kick on from their strong second half of last season under Thomas Tuchel.
And Tuchel will hope to have added the final piece to his jigsaw with the signing of Romelu Lukaku, with the Belgian striker rejoining the club from Inter Milan for €115m.
Former Republic of Ireland international Damien Delaney joined Joe Molloy on Tuesday's Football Show, and says even prior to their impressive showing last Saturday, Chelsea were his pick to go on and win their seventh league crown.
"I think Chelsea are going to win it. I said that before Saturday's performance. I know it's only one game but I'm not basing it on that. I'm basing it on the fact that they are the up-and-comers, the hungry ones, the chasers, they're hungry for success, the manager is in a really good place.
"I just think the hungriest group is going to win this, because it's going to be a long, arduous season," he said.
However, Delaney says his prediction comes with a big "if"; should Manchester City complete their deal for Tottenham striker Harry Kane, Delaney says he can't see any team coming close to stopping the current champions.
"If they sign Harry Kane, then I think it's going to be difficult for anybody to get anywhere near Man City. If they sign him he's a perfect player for them. He's a focal point, he's a goalscorer, I don't think City at the moment are in a good spot with a false nine, I don't like it. It overcomplicates Pep's game.
"I know that teams will give them a run for their money bit would fully expect that come February they would go on a run like they did last year and win 15 in a row and get over the line pretty comfortably," he says.
Of the other title contenders, Delaney says Liverpool are certainly in with a shout, but admits they will need more than what they currently have if they're to recapture their 2019 and 2020 form.
"Liverpool, for me, are more than capable of winning the league, but there are questions that have to be answered first. Will the lads coming back from long term injuries be like new signings? I still think Liverpool could just do with an injection of someone walking through the door, just to inject a bit of life into the players. The Premier League season is long and there's a danger of getting too carried away with performances.
"European football starts up again, there's a lot of international games, there's a world cup on the horizon, there's an awful lot of games to be played, and I do think it'll be a war of attrition.
"Chelsea have the hunger, they have the squad size, and they have a manager who is hungry to win the Premier League. That's why I would tip Chelsea," he says.
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