Graeme Souness interview

Scottish former Liverpool player and manager on new EPL season

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Manchester United are a different team this season. No Scholes, no Neville…
I think their influence on the pitch was diminishing anyway. But where those guys will be missed is in the dressing room. I think that’s why Fergie [manager Alex Ferguson] was keen to keep them as long as possible, because they were great influences there. You need good solid pros, and they’ve been there for all of Man United’s glory years – up there with Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs.

Do you think Fernando Torres will make a comeback this season at Chelsea?
Torres is a real concern for them because he’s… how can I put this? I’m worried for Torres. He had a great year at Liverpool and after that he found it difficult, and then he went to the World Cup and didn’t perform. In there somewhere is a goal-scoring machine, but for me he has had a very difficult two years – especially in the past 12 months.

How do you see Liverpool performing at the moment? Last season was particularly tough for them…
I think [Stewart] Downing is a great signing, and getting good, young players is certainly the way to go. The club is going in the right direction with Kenny [Dalglish] there and everyone is pulling together. We’ll have
a good season.

Do you have a favourite to win the Premier League this season?
The usual suspects. I think Man United will be the team to beat, but I can see Chelsea and Man City challenging, and hopefully Liverpool there as well.
Graeme co-presents Al Jazeera’s Champions League coverage this season. The Premier League is broadcast exclusively on Abu Dhabi Sports 1.

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