City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal have all boosted their rosters this summer, but United have failed to secure top target Frenkie de Jong, with left-back Tyrell Malacia their lone addition so far.
City have signed prolific midfielder Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, but they have traded Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling to Arsenal and Chelsea, respectively.
Merson believes Guardiola’s team will finish first again, but he doesn’t think it’s a certain conclusion.
‘I think Manchester City will win the Premier League, but I have to say it’s not as much of a foregone conclusion as others make it out to be,’ Merson told Sportskeeda.
‘Erling Haaland’s arrival is obviously a massive boost for Pep Guardiola, but it’s not the end of it with Liverpool still very much in the running. With the departures of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, Manchester City have lost at least 30 Premier League goals between the pair and that could turn out to be a huge problem for them.
‘The only worry for Liverpool, on the other hand, is that they’ve lost an unbelievable player in Sadio Mane, who scored big goals for them over the years.
‘They’ll have to rely on Darwin Nunez to settle as quickly as Luis Diaz did, which is obviously a long shot because the Colombian took to English football like a duck to water.
‘If Jurgen Klopp can get Nunez firing immediately, it’ll be tight once again, but if that doesn’t happen, I think Manchester City should win the Premier League.
‘Chelsea could be in the title race too with a couple of smart additions, but they’ll have to be consistent over the course of 38 games. Raheem Sterling will give them a massive lift – he’s a talented footballer who can play anywhere across the frontline as we’ve seen over the years for club and country.
‘He has my respect and should have no trouble adapting to Thomas Tuchel’s philosophy at Chelsea, having flourished in the Premier League for Liverpool and Manchester City.
‘Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea pick themselves as the top three in whatever order and I’d be shocked if anything else were to happen.’
Merson believes United will lose out on fourth place at this point in time owing to their lack of activity this summer.
Instead, the ex-Gunners player has backed his old team to finish ahead of bitter rivals Spurs in the Champions League positions.
‘I’ll put Manchester United in the reckoning for a place in the top four because they are a massive club, but they haven’t done enough business at this point in time to stand a chance of securing UEFA Champions League football, so it should be between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal,’ Merson added.
‘If I had to pick one of the two north London sides, I’ll have to go with Arsenal.’