Paul Scholes has changed his Premier League title prediction after admitting that he had underestimated Chelsea’s ability to compete with Manchester City and Liverpool
However, with Chelsea top of the pile after 13 games, one point ahead of Man City and two ahead of Liverpool, he has been forced to reconsider his position.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have been rock-solid in the Premier League so far this season, conceding a league-low five goals as well as scoring the second most.
While they have drawn their last two home games 1-1 against Burnley and United, Scholes has been impressed by the way they have played without Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku made his return off the bench on Sunday after missing four Premier League games through injury and his availability up front has tipped the balance for Scholes.
“I think Lukaku is a big difference to him [Tuchel],” he told Premier League Productions.
“They need to get him fit, if he can play the rest of the games this season, they are going to have a great chance.
“I really didn’t fancy Chelsea at the start of the season. I’m not sure why, looking [back] now.
“Look at that coach, the way he speaks, the way he coaches his team. They are well-drilled, they are confident. Everyone knows what they are doing.”
That is quite the change in opinion from last month, when Scholes had ruled out a sustained title challenge from Chelsea.
It was Liverpool’s thumping 5-0 win over United on October 24 which made him sure of his convictions.
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“I think it’s a devastating day for the Premier League,” Scholes said. “Seeing Liverpool go to Old Trafford and win so convincingly, I think it will make City worry.
“Chelsea… I’m not sure, they have been great and I think they are better than I actually give them credit for but I think it’s between Liverpool and Manchester City.
“I think City watching that today, in the Champions League or the Premier League, that will frighten them.”
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While the Premier League has been dominated by Man City and Liverpool in recent years, it does appear after 13 fixtures that there is a three-way race for the title this season.
Chelsea last won the title in 2016/17 under Antonio Conte’s management, but after winning the Champions League in May they appear to have what it takes to compete over the 38-game campaign this time around.
Meanwhile, Liverpool visit neighbours Everton for the Merseyside derby on Wednesday evening and Man City are away at Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.