Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has warned that the Premier League title race will be more than just a two-horse race between Manchester United and Manchester City this season, stating his reigning champions and three others will ensure that there are six clubs fighting.
There has been nothing to separate the free scoring Manchester clubs so far this season, with each enjoying an identical record after four wins and a draw from their first five games.
Chelsea are three points back, and Conte is adamant his team won't easily allow their title to be taken away and will remain in the race. He's also not surprised United and City are challenging.
"You know very well that, in England, there are six top teams," the Italian is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror as he addressed the media this week.
"Manchester's teams are in these six teams. It's normal," he added.
"It's normal for United and City to be competitive and to fight for the title and the other competitions. It's normal. My idea of football is to be a team, and then the team try to extract the characteristics of the individual players."
Having finished 10th in 2015/16, Chelsea almost came from nowhere to claim the title in record breaking fashion last season. They did that by focusing on their own game, without worrying about others, and Conte knows that remains the best policy.
"The best way is to look at ourselves. This is the best way," he explained.
"We have to continue to work together to try and improve. You know very well the difficulty of this league, to win this league. Last season we did this. But, for sure, we want to try and fight until the end [again]."