For critics and fans alike, the 20-13/14 Premier League season is being lauded as though it could be the most fiercely contested yet.
Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all have new managers at their helm with the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool having strengthened in abundance, and even the so dubbed 'lesser sides' have dabbled in this year's summer market.
Historically it's the teams that boast the greatest talent that end up top of the pile come the end of the season but this year there are as many as five teams that own a wealth of talent worthy of winning trophies.
What it will most likely come down to this year, is who can pick up the points once injury, bans and fatigue have taken their toll. This is where Chelsea begin to edge out their competition on paper.
Both Manchester clubs' starting XI's are packed to the rafters with proven quality but an analysis of their dugouts provides a little less rosy reading for fans.
United, despite cruising to the league last year with games to spare, struggled at times to cope when the depth of their back line was called into question. An ageing partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic could fall victim to weariness at times this year as the rigours of European and domestic campaigns come into effect.
Players like Nani, Javier Hernandez, Shinji Kagawa and Wilfiried Zaha will go someway to providing game-changing choices when needed but the further back the pitch you look the less options there seems to be.
Manchester City it must be said, do have a number of quality players to call upon if need be. However many of those who would fill their bench are either inconsistent, unhappy or not possessive of the kind of talents needed to perform in the very biggest fixtures.
One glance at Chelsea's starting line-up against Hull in their opening Premier League game and you can see a side that not only has an incredibly strong outlook from the first eleven but also has class options in abundance on the bench.
In Romelu Lukaka and Demba Ba they had two players who are seasoned goal-scorers in the English top flight and with Mourinho looking to purchase another top striker, the Blues are unlikely to be found wanting up top.
Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Juan Mata could all have reason to be disappointed with not starting against Hull but all provided strong options for game-altering transitions, and that's without taking into account the absent Victor Moses and utility man Michael Essien.
At the back Barcelona target David Luiz, who wasn't involved at the weekend due to international duty, will compete with both John Terry and Gary Cahill, whilst the aforementioned Essien and César Azpilicueta provide worthy cover on either defensive flank.
The truth of the matter is that Chelsea possess greater and more classy squad depth than Moyes' United, and appear to be a lot more harmonious under Mourinho than City can hope to be until Pellegrini has a firm grip on his squad.
For these reasons it seems Chelsea will stand the test of the Premier League and force themselves to the top spot. Their bench is over-flowing with enviable talent, their manager is best-suited of all to command them and they have the experience in place to complement the obvious flair they hold.
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