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Manchester United are one of several “big-time chokers” in the battle for Premier League supremacy, says Stan Collymore, with Liverpool and Manchester City expected to stage a two-horse race for title glory.
Liverpool and City have pulled well clear of the chasing pack in recent times, with heavyweight outfits from Anfield and the Etihad Stadium sharing the last three crowns between them.
Collymore cannot see the most sought-after of silverware heading anywhere else this term, despite there being a number of teams – including United and Leicester – within striking distance of the summit.
According to the former Liverpool striker, those that are unaccustomed to challenging for the grandest of prizes lack the “ingredients” required to sustain a challenge over a 38-game slog.
Collymore, who fell short on a number of occasions during his time on Merseyside, has told The Mirror: “The list of big-time chokers in this season's Premier League title race is a long one.
“Man Utd, Leicester, Chelsea, Spurs.... all choking to a greater or lesser degree at the precise moment everyone starts talking about them as real challengers.
“I'm baffled why so many people get lured into this, year in, year out. Several top-eight teams are built up way beyond their station after a few good results as we look for a potential surprise at the top.
“Even when it's obvious who the real favourites are – Manchester City and Liverpool.
“If you've won the title recently, or run up huge points totals and come up short in the last three years, you automatically go into a title race.
“You tick most of the boxes as to what is needed to go over the 38 hurdles. Longevity, resilience, the ability to overcome injuries and a blip in form.
“Winners don't clear 15 or 20 hurdles. The Premier League has 38 full hurdles of the most difficult course in world football.
“Why anyone would put the clubs above in a title race after less than half a season is beyond me.
“Keep saying to yourself, ‘if they're in it with six to go, fine, until then it's just a team in form’. It'll save you a lot of hassle!
“Man U, Spurs, Chelsea, Leicester lack ingredients.
“I played in Liverpool teams who choked, bottled it. We didn't have the fundamentals to back up a great result. You need experience to win titles and Man City and Liverpool have that. You need leadership and responsibility, players to fill the gaps during loss of form and injury.”