Mario Balotelli
copyright: REUTERS

Former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker believes this season's Premier League title race has been one of the most exciting in years but cautioned that Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal's performances in Europe indicate the English game is not as strong as it used to be.

The BBC pundit, who scored almost 300 times for clubs including Barcelona, Everton and Tottenham, insists there could be further twists in the title race and lauded the 'extraordinary' dramatics of this season's Premier League.

"I think in terms of excitement, it's one of the best seasons," Lineker told "In terms of quality of football, perhaps we've had better eras but we've seen some extraordinary events this season - some high-scoring, crazy games, the comeback of [Paul] Scholes, the miracle of [Fabrice] Muamba.

"From our performances in Europe, you can tell we're not quite as strong as we were. Chelsea are an exception and could still go all the way. But you look at Spain with five teams in the two semi-finals [Champions League and Europa League], we've got one, who struggled to get there, and out two big Manchester clubs were both knocked out of the Europa League.

"It suggests that we're not as strong as we were, and I think that's probably a fair point. But these things go in cycles."

Roberto Mancini's side are on course to claim their first league championship since 1968, after Yaya Toure's double earned them a comfortable 2-0 win at St. James' Park. City remained top of the Premier League on goal difference, after Manchester United beat Swansea 2-0.

The results mean City will pip United to the title if they beat QPR on the final day of the season. And Ashley Young has revealed he would be distraught if City won the title on goal difference.

"It's disappointing we didn't score more goals as it looked like we could've done but we've still got to have faith QPR can do us a favour," he told the Daily Mail.

"It comes down to the last day now and of course it will be disappointing, especially if it goes down to goal difference, and we lose it. I don't want to think of any negativity, we've got to think positively. Fingers crossed, QPR will do us a favour and we will win the title.

"I'm sure Mark Hughes doesn't want to go there and lose as they have to get a point for safety. So I'm sure he'll set his side out in the week to go there and do the best they can and hopefully they'll do that for us."