Neville dismisses big-spending City as serious title contenders
Gary Neville has dismissed Manchester City’s prospects of emerging as title rivals for Manchester United this season.
Manchester United begin their bid for a record 19th league title against promoted Newcastle at Old Trafford tonight and, despite City having spent almost £100m on new signings this summer, Neville insists that Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad will be glancing over their shoulder at more seasoned title challengers than City.
The United captain said: “Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have been seen as our main challengers for the title in recent years and I think they will be this year.
“Tottenham and Manchester City obviously have aspirations to get or stay in the top four, and maybe even challenge for the top prize.
“Spurs have Champions League football this year and City have spent a lot of money, but I still think the usual 'big four’ are favourites and it’s up to the other two to prove them wrong.
“I expect Arsenal and Liverpool to mount a more serious challenge this year.
“Chelsea, Arsenal and ourselves were all trying to throw it away last season at different points, so we hope we are not going to make the same mistakes again.
“It’s very difficult to go through a Premier League season unbeaten but we certainly need to limit our losses to four or below to give ourselves a good chance. Losing seven matches is not acceptable at Manchester United.”
As expected, United will not welcome back injured captain Rio Ferdinand until September at the earliest, as he continues to recover from a knee problem. “We always anticipated it would take time,” Ferguson said.