- Premier League
Liverpool won't win title, says Neville
Former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville believes Liverpool over-achieved by finishing second in the Premier League last season and has suggested they have no chance of going one better in the upcoming campaign.
Neville, who is now a pundit for Sky Sports, claims it was a "miracle" that Liverpool finished just behind champions Manchester City, as he suspects they will struggle to match that effort this time around.
"I don't think Liverpool will win the league," Neville told Sky Sports. "I think it was a miracle, really, to get to the point that they did last year.
"I think they were absolutely at full pelt last year, 100%, to get to the standard that they got to, they really were.
"I thought at one point with three weeks to go that they were going to win it because the momentum was with them, the performances were outstanding and they just fell away at the last.
"Success this year for Liverpool, for me, would look like a Champions League finish, getting to the knockout phase of the Champions League and doing well in a domestic cup.
"That's not being patronising, I just think that last year was really an over-achievement and I don't see them being stronger than City and Chelsea."
Neville believes City and Chelsea will be the favourites for the title, saying: "Forget United and Arsenal because we don't quite know what they are going to do yet, but I think the two at the top - City and Chelsea - they'll find it difficult to get past those two."
Neville also ruled out his former club United from challenging for the title, despite the optimism generated by Louis van Gaal's arrival at the club.
"Unless two or three players come in I don't think it's realistic that he [Van Gaal] can win the league this year," he added.
"Although there is a potential with what Liverpool did in the fact they had free weeks of Saturday to Saturday, continual perfect preparation. That's a big advantage for United if they get onto some momentum.
"In Chicharito [Javier Hernandez], [Wayne] Rooney, [Robin] Van Persie and [Danny] Welbeck, they have still got, I think, probably the best strikers in the league as a pool.
"If they can get the back right and find a solution in midfield - [Michael] Carrick's out for two or three months so they need to sign another top midfield player - and stay injury-free then they do have a chance.
"But I do think it would be a massive ask for Manchester United to win the league this year from where they have been, unless they sign two or three real stars and they all bed in immediately in the next few weeks.
"Van Gaal's got the confidence to think he can win the league. You can't turn around as Manchester United manager and say anything other than 'our aspiration and ambition is to win the league'."