Redknapp tips Manchester City to retain Premier League title

The former Tottenham boss believes Mancini's men will defend their crown despite being pushed all the way by rivals United and backs all three promoted sides to avoid relegation

Harry Redknapp has tipped Manchester City to retain their Premier League title but predicts Manchester United will ensure it is a tight race.

The 65-year-old was sacked by Tottenham this summer after seeing Spurs fail to secure Champions League football despite finishing fourth due to Chelsea's victory in the competition.

But the Englishman retains a strong opinion on the English game and, amongst other tips, has predicted that Arsenal may struggle should they lose Robin van Persie.

Redknapp, who was recently appointed a Sky Sports Fantasy Football ambassador, said: “I suppose City will be favourites and then Man Utd, Chelsea and Tottenham again.

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"Arsenal will be in for a tough season this year if they lose Van Persie, I think they’ve got it all to do and Tottenham could finish above them this year.

“[Sir Alex Ferguson] will want to win a trophy this year and they’ll push Man City all the way.

“I think Liverpool will do better. People say there’s a long rebuilding process going on at the club, but they’ll be there. They’ve got fantastic players in my opinion – [Luis] Suarez, [Andy] Carroll, [Steven] Gerrard, [Jamie] Carragher, Glen Johnson, a great goalkeeper in Pepe Reina and some good central defenders. They should be pushing for the top four.

"If Alan [Pardew] gets [Newcastle] into the top five again, top six even, it will be a miracle. He’ll do well if they finish seventh or eighth this year."

The veteran manager also picked out some star performers for the new campaign, with strikers Suarez and Fernando Torres predicted to impress for Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.

He added: “I think players like Suarez will be up there, he’s a good goalscorer and makes goals, he’s a fantastic talent. I also think Torres will get his chance to play this year now that [Didier] Drogba has gone, he could be a big goalscorer.

“You’ve got to look at the teams that are going to be up at the top, that’s where the goals are going to come from. Looking at Man City, players like Aguero should score more goals this year, as will Tevez if he stays. Suarez is also capable of getting more goals.”

Looking at the bottom end of the table, Redknapp expressed his belief that all three promoted sides will avoid the drop, and backed QPR to significantly improve after narrowly escaping relegation last season.

He continued: "They’re all equally balanced and I think they could all stay up this year. I’ve got a feeling that with Sam [Allardyce] West Ham will be strong - there’s great support at Upton Park, it’s a difficult place to go.

“Southampton have done fantastic too. Nigel Adkins has performed a miracle there to bring them up two divisions and again it’s a great stadium, full house every week.

"And Reading, they’ve got a new owner, a Russian who looks like he has plenty of money as well, which is good for them. I think all three will stay up, though I wouldn’t want to say which one will finish higher, I think it’s dead even.”

“I think QPR will do OK, they’ll do a lot better than last season. Mark [Hughes] has gone out there and bought some strong characters. He knows his players and he’ll get the best out of them.”