John Dykes: Manchester clubs will rule EPL this season
FOX Sports presenter Dykes says either Spurs, Arsenal or Liverpool will not finish in top four
Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson following Manchester United's title-winning season in 2012/2013, the Red Devils finished seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth in the subsequent terms.
Veteran sportscaster John Dykes believes that this could be the season where the Red Devils return to where they belong and challenge local rivals Manchester City, whom he thinks are the favourites, for the title.
"At the moment, I'm leaning towards either of the Manchester clubs to win the league," said Dykes, who helms The John Dykes Show for FOX Sports in Singapore after being based in the UK as the face of the Premier League's worldwide broadcasts.
"I think United, particularly with Nemanja Matic, have made some powerful signings.
"They were a solid defensive side last year and, had they converted their draws into wins, they would have been right up there competing."
In Jose Mourinho's first season as Red Devils' manager, United managed 15 draws, with Dykes asserting that at least half of those stalemates could have been turned into wins if they were more clinical in front of goal.
It is a problem that he believes will be alleviated with the signing of Romelu Lukaku.
And, with Matic possibly bringing out the best in Paul Pogba, Dykes believes United are title challengers, but could just fall short of glory.
"My only reservation is that Jose is quite conservative and his build-up play is a little bit slow," said Dykes in an interview with The New Paper earlier this week.
"That's the only reason why I'd nudge City ahead of them."
On champions Chelsea, Dykes said Matic's departure could affect the balance of the team and new signing Alvaro Morata will take time to find his feet in England.
"I have a few reservations about Chelsea even though they have spent more than they ever have done in a summer window," said Dykes.
"But they should be good enough to make the top four, because they're strong, and Antonio Conte's a really good manager."
As for Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool, he feels that one of the trio will finish outside the top four.
"The tricky thing about this is that it's very hard to argue against Spurs, because they have been the best club in the country over two years - without winning the league," said Dykes.
"I think Spurs could have a difficult season."
He believes that Arsenal and Liverpool may struggle because of personnel issues instead of psychological ones.
"Arsenal's signing of Alexandre Lacazette is good in that he's a proven goal scorer," he said.
"But I don't think they have addressed the part of why they haven't won the league all these years. I think it'll be difficult for them to get into the top four."
Liverpool have added Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson to their ranks, but Dykes feels the Reds are still lacking in depth.
"I like the signings that Liverpool have made but, if one or two of their key players get injured, it could harm them," he said.
While Dykes delivers his expert opinion on the EPL and harnesses the views of pundits who know the game intimately, The John Dykes Show also engages the fans through various social media platforms.
He is looking forward to an unpredictable season and hopes it will be made more interesting through his conversations with the fans in Asia.
"I know three of the top four this season, but I think the fourth - at this stage - I can't pick," he said.
"But it will be fun talking about it with fans in Asia."
- Join the conversation on The John Dykes Show on FOX Sports Asia at 8.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.