Michael Owen believes Chelsea will edge Manchester United to the Premier League title this season.
The former United player insists the return of Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge will be enough to see the the Blues claim league glory in 2013/14.
Owen told sportlobster.com: "Chelsea are my favourites to win the league irrespective of transfer activity. The return of Jose Mourinho has transformed the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.
"Mourinho has never lost at home in the Premier League and the Special One thoroughly deserves his self-appointed title.
However, the 33-year-old believes the Red Devils, under David Moyes, will challenge at the top of the table, and Owen believes Robin van Persie will once again be key to United's chances of glory.
“While United have the most stable squad, the club as a whole is going through a period of transition both in terms of the manager and the backroom staff.
"Much will depend on the form of Robin Van Persie and, if he hits the heights of last season, United can definitely expect to be in the running.”
The ex-England star, who retired as a professional footballer at the end of last season, is also tipping Liverpool to challenge for Champions League places come the end of the season.
Owen made 158 appearances for the Reds and is hoping Brendan Rodgers can keep hold of Luis Suarez.
Suarez continues to be linked with a move away from Anfield, and is hoping to leave Merseyside by the end of the transfer window.
However, Owen continued by saying: "Much depends on star man Luis Suarez. If he goes it could be an uphill battle for Brendan Rogers who has urged the Liverpool fans to be patient over the summer months.
"Replacing him would be near-impossible and more than one forward replacement will have to be brought in to replicate his goals tally.
"If Suarez stays and a couple more signings join the ranks then the top four could even be within their sights.”
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