The former Liverpool centre-back also told Goal he believes Brendan Rodgers will revolutionise the Reds this season with his philosophy but it may not be enough yet
By Kenneth Ho
Stephane Henchoz has backed Jose Mourinho to bring the Premier League to Chelsea upon his return to Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese won five trophies during this initially three-year spell at the Blues, and returns as one of three managerial changes in last season's top-four sides.
The former Liverpool player still feels last season's Champions League places will go to the same teams come the end of the new campaign, but is confident Chelsea will top the standings in May.
"Obviously Chelsea, [Manchester] City and [Manchester] United [will finish in the top four]," he told Goal. "I would love Liverpool, but I realistically see Arsenal [in the top four].
"Chelsea will be champions because of Mourinho, because he is a great manger, because he has done it twice, and he is going to win it again."
However, Henchoz believes a club of Liverpool's stature should still target finishing within the top-four spots, or even win some silverware, and is expecting improvements under Brendan Rodgers.
"I think they have to aim for the top-four spots, knowing realistically it will be very difficult," he said. "I hope that they can improve from last season, at least be in the top six. A decent run in the cup? Why not win one of the cups, that would be a trophy.
"I think Liverpool conceded too many goals [last season], that's why Brendan Rodgers decided to make a change, which is why he changed the goalkeeper.
"So far the pre-season has been very good, they have only conceded two goals in seven games, which is a big improvement.
"I like [Rodgers'] philosophy, I like the way he wants football to be played, I think it’s the way forward. I think football these days is about keeping possession it’s not anymore about kicking long and playing long balls.
"It takes some time but I think he is the right man, he is a good manager and I am confident he can improve the team."
With Jamie Carragher and Pepe Reina departing the club, Steven Gerrard remains as the only experienced and influential player left at Anfield, something that Henchoz believes should change with younger players stepping up.
"Steven Gerrard has been crucial for Liverpool,” he continued. "Now that Pepe Reina and Jamie Carragher have left, [and they were] two very important players on and off the pitch, it’s time for players to step up and fill their boots.
"Players like Daniel Agger and even young players who have got the potential like Coutinho in the middle. Daniel Sturridge up front, he is another who needs to step up. He has got the potential, he is a good player, could be a great player.
"He has a great character, so that is the way it is in big football. You need players who can step up and have great character."