Owen eyes two-horse race
Man United striker Michael Owen believes it will once more be a two-horse race for the Premier League title.
Last Updated: 16/08/10 9:49am
Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes it will once more be a two-horse race for the Premier League title this season.
Owen's United kick off their campaign at home to Newcastle on Monday looking to start with a bang against the newly-promoted Magpies.
The Red Devils were pipped to the post by the Blues last term and the West Londoners have already sent out a warning with their 6-0 demolition of West Brom at the weekend.
Owen, 30, says that while there are a number of strong sides in the top-flight, Chelsea and United will be the two to beat again.
"I see United and Chelsea as the two teams to aim at," he told the Daily Mirror. "If someone else wins, then obviously they would have had a fantastic season.
"But between us we've won it over the last half a dozen years and it would take a very good team to have a very good season to finish above us.
"Every season you look for new challenges, to see who could emerge from the pack. But Chelsea have to be the benchmark. They won the league last year and they're the champions. If anyone finishes above them, they'll win the league.
"I can't imagine anyone finishing above ourselves and Chelsea. You might get one springer out of the group, maybe Liverpool with their new manager or Arsenal with a couple of new players.
"There are quite a lot of new players at Manchester City and Tottenham had a great season, so they could improve again. It's an intriguing season ahead.
"But over decades, Sir Alex (Ferguson) has proved to be the best. There are so many different things that go into it and those are the kind of things you like to pick up on. And you can't be winners like Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes without having that continual drive, year after year."
Owen believes United's success over the years is driven by a fear of failure, and hopes to not drop as many unnecessary points as last season.
He added: "Maybe it's a fear of failure. It hurts that much when you lose that you almost can't accept it.
"That's driven from right at the top. Look at what we had to deal with last year: two central midfielders - Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick - playing at centre-half for part of the year. Almost every centre-half was injured.
"We lost vital points at vital times but still finished only one point behind Chelsea - that was a measure of how good the squad is. Regaining the title is the target and I'm confident we can give it a good shot this season."