ALL last season Man United were told they had a poor team but still they coasted to the title by nine points.

Sir Alex Ferguson has strengthened to the tune of £50million and I expect them to hit the ground running as they attempt to keep Chelsea and Man City at bay.

Last week’s Community Shield didn’t mean too much but there is no doubt the manner of United’s win against City was impressive.

City were sitting pretty at 2-0 but were taught a second-half less on as United turned the tables to win 3-2.

Fergie has spent £50million – chickenfeed compared to City – and will need new keeper David de Gea to settle quickly after a shaky debut at Wembley last week.

Winger Ashley Young and defender Phil Jones will be good additions and know the Premier League well. I can see United, 7-4 with the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes, holding off their rivals.

I reckon Chelsea and not City will finish second having appointed Andre Villas-Boas, a manager with a midas touch. The former Porto boss might take a few months to adapt to the English game but he has enough quality at his disposal to mount a challenge.

His problem may be trying to accommodate Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba in a way previous boss Carlo Ancelotti couldn’t. But remember if Drogba turns out to be his main man he’ll be lost to the African Nations Cup at the turn of the year.

Chelsea are a biggest 3-1 with Coral,Hills and Ladbrokes and I’m on them to finish ahead of City whose campaign could be hit by internal problems.

Italian striker Mario Balotelli is always going to be difficult to manage and there are doubts over the future of Carlos Tevez.

However, City have brought in Atletico Madrid’s brilliant Sergio Aguero as well as Gael Clichy so if anything they are stronger than the side that finished well last season to claim a Champions League and won the FA Cup. City are a biggest 9-2 with Coral.

I can’t see anyone else breaking into the top three so the final Champions League place should go to Arsenal, Liverpool or Spurs.

Arsenal won just two of their last 11 league games and the likely departure of Cesc Fabregas won’t help their prospects.

Lille striker Gervinho is their only major arrival and if Arsene Wenger doesn’t spend big then even fourth place could be out of his reach.

Arsenal are 11-1 with Blue Square ahead who go a best 14-1 Liverpool – a side who will be hunting a Champions League spot under Kenny Dalglish.

The team’s transformation under King Kenny was amazing last season but a poor pre-season has cast doubts over their prospects.

Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Jose Enrique should hit the ground running thanks to Premier League experience while fans will be looking for big things from expensive strike duo Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.

I’m on the Reds to take fourth ahead of Arsenal then Spurs with Everton probably in their usual seventh spot.

Title tip

Man United

(7-4, various)

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