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Defending champions Man City have taken three points from their first two games of the new season, thrashing Norwich City 5-0 on Saturday after losing to Tottenham on the opening weekend.
Chelsea, Liverpool, Brighton and Spurs are the only teams to still have a perfect record, although West Ham or Leicester will also move to six points if they win tonight’s clash at the London Stadium.
European champions Chelsea have been of the most eye-catching teams, easing past London rivals Crystal Palace last weekend and then outclassing Arsenal at the Emirates, with £97.5m signing Romelu Lukaku opening his account for the season.
Murphy insists signing Lukaku has made Chelsea even stronger but says Thomas Tuchel’s side may still fall short of the title, with Man City and Liverpool his two stand-out contenders.
Liverpool, who won the title in 2020, have enjoyed a perfect start to the season, beating Norwich City and Burnley without conceding a goal.
Manchester United, meanwhile, kick-started their campaign with a 5-1 victory over Leeds United, but dropped two points at Southampton on Sunday as they were held to a 1-1 draw.
‘I think you can never know for sure [if one player can decide the title],’ Murphy told talkSPORT.
‘When [Virgil] Van Dijk came, and Alisson too, but mostly Van Dijk came to Liverpool, the general consensus was that he was the missing link. It proved to be the case.
‘What we can’t know at the end of this season is if Chelsea hadn’t signed Lukaku whether they would have been competitive anyway, because we all thought they would be even without him.
‘One thing is for sure is that having him there is hugely beneficial for the club and for the other players around him.
‘He gives them another option, he gives them strength they didn’t have, he’s a terrific footballer and he’s a goalscorer.
‘[Lukaku’s] a great string they’ve added to their bow and it’s a great start for him. He’s a terrific player. They’re going to be there, they’ll be there or thereabouts.
‘Lukaku makes them more competitive and I think it makes them more capable of winning the title with him in it. But I still think that Liverpool or Man City will win it.’
Champions League holders Chelsea travel to Anfield next weekend to face Liverpool in the stand-out fixture of the round, with Man City hosting struggling Arsenal and Man United travelling to Wolves.
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Source: Metro Sport