Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel expects five teams to challenge for the Premier League title next season, including Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United.
Manchester City clinched their fourth title in five seasons on Sunday, narrowly beating Liverpool to the crown after staging a stunning comeback against Aston Villa.
Pep Guardiola’s side needed three points at the Etihad to secure the title but looked set to capitulate as they trailed Steven Gerrard’s Villa 2-0 with just 20 minutes left.
However, Man City showed why they are considered one of the greatest teams in Premier League history by scoring three goals in five minutes and denying Liverpool a second title in three seasons.
Man City and Liverpool, who finished on 93 and 92 points respectively, have enjoyed a thrilling rivalry in recent years but Tuchel expects more teams to challenge for the Premier League title next season.
Chelsea themselves will be expected to mount a title bid after a somewhat underwhelming domestic campaign, while Man United could barely perform any worse as they finished sixth this season, 35 points adrift of the champions.
The Red Devils have gone five successive campaigns without silverware but will hope the arrival of Dutch manager Erik ten Hag turns the tide.
Tottenham, who have thrived since Antonio Conte’s appointment in November, may also emerge as title contenders, having enjoyed an impressive season-half to the season and beating north London rivals Arsenal to a top-four finish.
Asked how competitive the Premier League will be next season, Tuchel said: ‘It will be a super tough race.
‘Manchester United will be in the race and Tottenham will be in the race with Antonio Conte, for sure.
‘We want to stay in the race and Liverpool and Man City do everything to make their squads bigger and they set the standard so high. This is the challenge in which we compete.’
Tuchel believes Chelsea’s ongoing takeover is a ‘huge disadvantage’ as uncertainty remains over incomings and outgoings at Stamford Bridge.
‘We have at the moment a huge disadvantage – that’s not decisive yet,’ the German added after Chelsea’s final-day victory over Watford.
‘There is no need to make excuses now, it is just the situation we are in and we have to be as quick as possible.
‘Right now, of course, it is unsatisfying because our hands are tied and we cannot act as we want. We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristic of these players.
‘It is not like you put a name on the list and then you get the player. You have to convince the player, you have to speak to other clubs and convince yourself this is the player, so there is normally a lot of work and it will be the same to be competitive next season, while, like everybody else, tries to close the gap to us, while the two top teams are what they are. A benchmark of consistency.
‘This is the situation and from there we do our very best to be competitive because this is what we want to be.’
Chelsea last won the Premier League in 2017 when Conte’s Blues finished seven points ahead of Tottenham.
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