Chelsea legend Desailly tips Arsenal for EPL title

IANS| Updated: Nov 26, 2013, 18:21 PM IST

Nairobi: Chelsea legend and France World Cup-winning defender Marcel Desailly has backed the Arsenal to lift this season`s English Premier League (EPL) title.

Desailly welcomed intense competition at the top of the league table with the leaders Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Champions United and resurgent giants Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspurs chasing the honours, reports Xinhua.

Desailly was speaking Monday on the sidelines of EPL trophy tour here.

"Arsenal probably," the Ghanaian-born defender who lifted the World Cup and European Cup in 1998 and 2000 with his adopted nation said when asked his best bet for the 2014-15 EPL title.

"That is only if they maintain the good run, but I would like Liverpool to show up. They drew against Everton over the weekend but I would like them to see their name on the trophy after a long time.

"This season is very interesting because everyone is on his toes. I`m pleased with the way it`s going because it`s boosting standing of the league worldwide," the EPL ambassador for the trophy tour added.

Desailly called on African federations to structure their competition to act as a conveyor belt of talent from the continent to the most watched domestic league in the world.

"We are talking about establishing academies that will develop players both in sports and education to enable them become professionals," he urged.

The retired Frenchman challenged other nations outside the West African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Algeria to aim for World Cup qualification to break the monotony.

"I`m not pleased to see the same African teams that played last time have once again qualified for the World Cup. I will be happy to see teams from East Africa like Kenya or Ethiopia to come up.

"We hope this time an African team will reach the semifinal. Cameroon almost did it, Nigeria was close and Ghana obviously everybody knows what happened in 2010 when (Luis) Suarez denied them in South Africa," he stated.