Leroy Sane Picks Chelsea as Manchester City's Top EPL Title Rivals

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Leroy Sane of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium on May 9, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester City winger Leroy Sane believes Chelsea will be the Sky Blues' main rivals in 2018-19 as they look to defend their Premier League title. 

The German youngster said, on the basis of how Maurizio Sarri's Napoli side troubled City last term in the UEFA Champions League, the newly installed Chelsea boss should make big improvements at Stamford Bridge, per MailOnline's Nathan Salt: "Chelsea have brought in a really good coach [in Sarri]. The way Napoli played last season was really attractive. We really suffered against them. [Chelsea] might need some time to get used to his tactics, but they could be a really tough team."

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21:  Maurizio Sarri, head coach of Chelsea speaks to players during a Chelsea FC training session at The WACA on July 21, 2018 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)
Will Russell/Getty Images

Chelsea will not be in the UEFA Champions League in 2018-19 after only managing to finish fifth in the Premier League last term, 30 points behind champions City.

Second-placed Manchester United were 19 points behind the Sky Blues, with Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool taking third and fourth, respectively.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds have made some fine additions so far in the summer transfer window, leading many to predict they could be the team to provide City with the most competition next term:

B/R Football @brfootball

Liverpool might have turned themselves into title contenders without kicking a ball | @DeanJonesBR https://t.co/yAGnUICClW https://t.co/MoScuTqYn7

However, Sane believes Sarri's influence is going to be huge at Chelsea.

The Blues won the title in 2014-15 and 2016-17, so they have a squad of players who know how to win the Premier League.

And Sarri formed a brilliant side at Napoli, even though they were never able to topple Juventus from the Serie A summit during his three seasons at the Stadio San Paolo.

City faced the Partenopei twice in Group F of last season's Champions League, and although Pep Guardiola's side prevailed on both occasions, Napoli did cause them some problems.

Sarri will have more resources to work with at Stamford Bridge and could well build a side capable of beating City after their record-breaking 2017-18 season.