Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes Manchester United have the quality necessary to win the Premier League this season.
Jose Mourinho’s men have enjoyed a strong start to the 2017/18 campaign, winning eight of their 12 games.
But they continue to lag a full eight points behind a Manchester City side that has only failed to win on one occasion this season.
However, Lampard has told BT Sport that, under the experienced tutelage of Mourinho, United are favourites to prevail in May.
“The reason Manchester United can win the league, for me, is the players, the quality of the players, I think,” he said.
“Manchester City have a very strong squad this year, Chelsea also have a strong squad for a starting eleven and if everybody stays I think Chelsea are very strong.
“But I look at Manchester United and they are around that area [near the top of the table] with a team that is very strong, especially because of their manager and for that Manchester United could be competitive towards the end of the season as well.”
As things currently stand, it really is Man City and the rest.
The other 19 sides have had various faults and shortcomings exposed, galling defeats, poor patches of form, and generally more questions than answers.
City, on the other hand, appear to be gliding through each game, their plethora of attacking options – spearheaded by the extraterrestrial Kevin de Bruyne – simply too much for their opponents. It really has looked like men against boys at times.
And if they continue to do that throughout the campaign, then fair play. They would be deserved champions.
But history dictates that, somewhere along the line, the bubble bursts, or at least receives a notable puncture. City are bound have difficult patches and disappointing set-backs at some point over the next six months.
And this could be where Mourinho’s trump card comes into play: the inherent malleability of his managerial approach. The Portuguese’s plan varies from game to game, opponent to opponent, right down to the final detail. Every tactical approach is tailor made, week by week.
Such is not the case with Guardiola. He has a system and a distinguished philosophy that has, up to this point, worked effortlessly, but what happens when it doesn’t?
Therein perhaps lies the route to the top of the Premier League for Mourinho’s men.