Man City won their fourth league title in five years last season and start the 2022-23 campaign against West Ham on Sunday.
Liverpool finished just a point behind the English champions after a thrilling title fight, while Chelsea finished third and Tottenham beat Arsenal for the last place in the top four.
Ferdinand believes Liverpool are the only team who can narrowly lead Manchester City this season but expects Spurs to continue their revival under Antonio Conte and Erik ten Hags Manchester United to improve.
As a result, Ferdinand has predicted Liverpool will finish the season second, finishing in the top four from Tottenham and Man United, with Chelsea and Arsenal both missing out on Champions League spots.
“I can’t look further than Man City,” the former England defender told William Hill. “Recruitment was efficient and with [Erling] Haaland, they have the best on the market.
‘And [they’ve got] Squad depth with someone like [Kalvin] Phillips as well. The only thing I think will be a loss for her is [Raheem] Sterling but I’m feeling this season [Jack] Grealish will rise and become one of the most important men.
“The top four will be Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United, in that order.”
Under Ralf Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United finished just sixth last season and went without a title for the fifth straight season.
While Ferdinand is confident his former club will improve this season under former Ajax boss Ten Hag, he says United must grapple with the Cristiano Ronaldo saga.
The Portuguese legend is looking to leave Old Trafford this summer but Manchester United are adamant he is not for sale.
Ferdinand added: “People say you have to let Ronaldo go… Well, get someone who can score 24-25 goals first.
“Darwin Nunez is gone, Erling Haaland is gone and Robert Lewandowski is gone. Those were the three players who made you think, “Look, these are the only ones you’ve got your mind on who will join the Manchester United team immediately.”
“But they’re gone. So Manchester United can’t let Ronaldo go, they can’t. Even if he asks to go, they just can’t let him go. I don’t think that’s right.
“If you let him go, you’re putting your trust in Anthony Martial, who was never consistent enough for Manchester United and who they would let go for Peanuts last season if there had been takers.
“He went to Seville and didn’t do it. Marcus Rashford hasn’t played properly in probably 18 months, maybe longer. Jadon Sancho didn’t reach the heights United expected last season, Anthony Elanga is a young kid…
“So, you look at it and think, ‘Who can we hang our hat on and say, yeah, he’s going to pull the others up? Bruno Fernandes maybe, but he’s not a striker.
“It’s very easy for everyone to say, ‘You have to get rid of Ronaldo, it’s a circus around him, he’s attracting too much attention…’
“He might draw a little more attention than the club wants but the cracker guarantees goals every season.”
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