Michael Carrick has dismissed the notion that the Premier League is already a two-horse race.
With the two Manchester clubs both recording 100% starts from their opening four games, scoring 33 goals between them in the process, some pundits have already written off the chasing pack.
But Carrick feels it would be folly to dismiss Chelsea, and said: "I don't think it is a two-horse race by any means. We can't get carried away with it just being us and City."
He added: "If you remember the start Chelsea had last season, everyone said they were going to win it. Obviously that didn't happen.
"We are playing well and we are top of the league. But we still respect the other teams for the threat they pose to us."
Chelsea are not lacking in motivation as they prepare to visit Old Trafford on Sunday.
They had tended to have the better of their meetings with United, including scoring a controversial victory over their old rivals at Stamford Bridge in March after which Sir Alex Ferguson ended up with a five-match touchline ban for criticising the performance of referee Martin Atkinson.
However, the Red Devils had the last laugh, winning both legs of the Champions League quarter-final before ending the Blues' lingering title hopes by emphasising their superiority at Old Trafford.
"What has happened in the past can be used as motivation but it is a new season and the next game is always the biggest, no matter who it is against," said Carrick.
"It is a dangerous game but we are not scared, just as I am sure they won't be scared of us."
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