Giggs labels Manchester City Premier League title favourites

Chelsea's Michael Ballack in action against Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg match at Anfield

Chelsea's Michael Ballack in action against Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg match at Anfield

Steve Nicol is backing Manchester United to finish ahead of Liverpool in the top-four race.

According to a report in The Indian Express, sports secretary Injeti Srinivas interacted with Premier League's global relations manager Tim Vine during his recent visit to the United Kingdom in July and talked about the possibility of hosting top English clubs in India.

"Given that the Premier League's rights are up for grabs next year too, Amazon could be a player in this bidding war, which means it may even surpass the previous record deal of over £5 billion secured in 2015". "The ministry will not be involved in conducting the matches, but we will encourage it", said Srinivas.

A promising City side showed great strenght in their USA preseason tour, thrashing Europe champions Real Madrid, 4-1 and beating Premier League rivals Tottenham, 3-0.

According to the Indian Express report, in order to utilise the infrastructure developed for the U-17 Football World Cup in October, the government now wants to host top Premier League clubs during their off-season. "It's very much on the cards".

Giggs wrote: "I think Manchester City are the team to beat though".

There are less than two weeks to go until the start of the new league campaign and Manchester United have spent heavily to bolster their chances of domestic and European success. The matches, which are planned nearly a year in advance, take place in June-July, before the new season begins in August. Premier League perceives India, which has a television viewership estimated at 150 million per season, as one of its biggest markets.

Srinivas further added that the infrastructure is no longer an issue, as stadiums in six cities have been refurbished for the under-17 World Cup, which will be played from October 6-28.

Liverpool are still waiting to win the Premier League for the first time after finishing in second place in 2002, 2009 and 2014. Sports Secretary Srinivas also met the director of UK's Gambling Commission, Nick Tofiluk, as the Sports Ministry lays the groundwork to legalise online sports betting in India.

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