Andre Villas-Boas has insisted that the title race is one of the toughest he has ever faced in his career, with the Chelsea manager not discounting any of the big six over the course of the season to take out the domestic trophy.
Chelsea currently sit at third in the Barclays Premier League table, and are just one point away from Manchester United and three from Manchester City.
And Villa-Boas believes that this is one of the tightest competitions for the top he has seen in his managing career, including under Jose Mourinho.
“I have not in my short experience of managing or assisting Jose [Mourinho] seen a Premier League so tight as this one, or one with so many good teams,” he told the official Chelsea website.
“I think it is more competitive than the other years Chelsea won, and that is not taking merit from what the club has already done.
“In the 2005/06 Premiership win it was nine wins in the first nine games, and the record of points was beaten in the 2004/05 season, but I am saying more teams look like being in contention.”
Villas-Boas even pointed out Tottenham as possible competition for Chelsea this seasin, with Spurs challenging to qualify for the Champions League once more.
“Tottenham keep surprising everybody,” he explained. “But with the amount of talent that they have and the humble nature of what they are saying and the values of what they are doing, they are a competitive team.
“They will never put themselves across as title contenders because nobody likes that kind of pressure.”
The Blues manager said that if the race stays as open as it is now, Chelsea have a big chance to steal the title from favourites City and United. But the manager is not seeing the games now as particularly significant in building up to win a trophy, and is rather looking at the matches week by week.
“If these games should happen with these distances between teams in March or April I would say it would be a big opportunity, but not at the moment,” he said.
“Anything that happens between us and the Manchester clubs won't dictate what is going to happen in March and April.
“From being five points from Man United we are just one point away so things have changed dramatically in a couple of weeks and there is still no pattern to how the table is going to behave regarding the future.
“Let the Manchester clubs play each other and see what happens. What is more important for us is to get the three points from our game. Without us doing that nothing that happens in Manchester will be important for us.”