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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Alan Hansen's column

Alan Hansen
By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

Carlos Tevez's arrival has added to the array of attacking riches available to Premier League champions Manchester United - but I am backing Chelsea to regain the title this season.

Carlos Tevez (right) in action against Manchester United last season.
Tevez's style makes him made to measure for Manchester United

Tevez's transfer to Old Trafford has been a tortuous and well-documented affair but he looks perfect for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

The Argentine is not someone who sticks to a position and that is a good fit for a United attack that inter-changes better than any other side up front.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney - and whoever is with them - can play any position in an attacking three and give United a very fluid attack.

Tevez is not a player you see going through the centre and sticking in one position, so he should be a success.

It is certainly better for Tevez as a footballer that he has joined a side that plays in the fashion United do than a team that imposes a more rigid strategy.

He should be a success, given his talent, although there is always the proviso that there have been signings that look certain to be successes but don't work out.


Chelsea have Florent Malouda from Lyon as their big summer signing, which seems to fit in with boss Jose Mourinho's stated intention of giving his side more width this season.

If you watched Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final, second leg at Liverpool last season, they were so one-dimensional for a top team it wasn't true.

They suited 4-3-3 and they had their best seasons when they had Joe Cole on the right and Arjen Robben on the left.

Last year they went 4-4-2 after Andriy Shevchenko's arrival and they did become one-dimensional.

They survived some horrendous luck, with injuries to key players such as Petr Cech and John Terry, to push United all the way but the way they play might just have let them down - and I say that as a huge admirer of Chelsea.

I can certainly see the sense in them playing with more width this season and being a bit more adventurous, giving themselves a bit more pace and verve going forward.

This is only minor tinkering I should add, hardly a huge overhaul of their tactical approach.

Liverpool have made massive strides in the transfer market this summer but will they have enough to win the title?

The big problem is that they have never had a 20-goals-a-season striker since Michael Owen left.

Last season they had Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt, Peter Crouch and Robbie Fowler - all good players but never likely to get you 20 goals in the Premier League.

It doesn't matter how well a player does, how hard they work or how much the fans like them, if they do not get 20 goals - and I mean in the Premier League not in all competitions - then Liverpool will struggle to make up the gap on the top two.

So this means the pressure is all on Fernando Torres. He looked a great player at Atletico Madrid, quick, big and athletic.

But will he score 20 goals in the league? That is the big question.

The added pressure is that Liverpool and their fans want the title desperately. The Champions League - winning it and reaching the final twice in three seasons - is nice but the title is the Holy Grail now after so long without it.

It has always been the same at Liverpool.

When I won my first European Cup in 1978, Joe Fagan congratulated us - then quickly pointed out it had been a disappointing season because we finished eight points behind Nottingham Forest in the League.

Fernando Torres
Can Torres get 20 goals in the Premier League? The answer to that will shape Liverpool's title aspirations

I think all of Liverpool's new players have got to be playing and Benitez has got to know his best team very quickly.

Someone like Ferguson will know what his best side is, even early in the season, and he knows that if he is struggling he can just send out what he regards as his best team.

Liverpool were still rotating after losing so many games away from home early last season - and that is not ideal.

Arsenal are an intriguing prospect after losing Thierry Henry to Barcelona.

If there was one problem about Henry, it was the fact that occasionally he did not do enough when they were struggling.

Arsenal have finished fourth in the last two seasons, playing a brand of football everybody agrees is as good as anything you see when it comes off.

But I think if they keep playing that brand of football, even with one or two additions, they would be the one team out of the so-called top four that could be vulnerable, particularly to Tottenham.

I'm not suggesting for one minute they will tumble halfway down the table but their place in the top four could be threatened.

As far as the title is concerned, I go for Chelsea - although not with a huge amount of conviction and not in a way that would tempt me to risk the mortgage on it.

I just feel they will be there, regardless of anything that happens.

They pushed United all the way last season, despite the fact that injuries hit them and United had an unbelievable campaign.

United look very strong after their summer transfer business but it is very hard to replicate the sort of brilliant season they had last time out.

So Chelsea for me - but you could almost decide it on the toss of a coin.

  • Alan Hansen was talking to Phil McNulty

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