Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has expressed his belief that Arsenal are a "potential rival" for his side this season because of the experience of coach Arsene Wenger.
The two sides meet in the Community shield at Wembley on Sunday, ahead of the start of the Premier League campaign next weekend.
And Conte has stressed that overcoming a side of Arsenal's quality will be a difficult challenge throughout the season.
"Arsenal is a potential rival this season because I consider Arsenal one of six teams ready to fight to win the title and I consider Arsene Wenger to be one of the best coaches," the Italian coach told Chelsea's official website.
"He is a very good coach and he has had a lot of time to build his team and his squad, and I think he is the right choice for them. I’m not surprised he stayed because he is one of the best in the world and Arsenal is one of the best teams."
Turning his attention to the season ahead, Conte has admitted that repeating last season's success will not be easy.
"To be coach for a great team in England is great, but also gives you a lot of responsibility," he added. "You know that when you arrive in England, you must be ready to fight with big teams, with big players against big coaches. This league has made me better than before, I am sure about this.
"In England, you win the title and the next season the teams prepare to fight you with all their strength. They go to the transfer market, they try to improve and it is very difficult to repeat the success of the season before."