Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has pinpointed Chelsea as the main challengers to their Premier League crown this season.
Chelsea currently sit top of the league with maximum points from three games, and Dzeko expects them to be City's biggest rivals in the title race.
Jose Mourinho's men fell away towards the end of the last campaign and could only finish third, four points behind the champions, but they'll be desperate to improve on that after a blistering start to the season.
With the Premier League's top clubs having all spent big to strengthen their squads this summer, the title race could be a six horse race, and Dzeko has had his say on the runners.
The Bosnian told the Mirror: "This season Chelsea might be the most serious challenger, but we mustn't ignore Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, or United, who will certainly be much stronger than last year.
"After all, everyone has got stronger, and everyone wants to be first."
Of the clubs by Dzeko only Chelsea currently occupy a top-four place, with Manchester United currently sitting in 14th having claimed just two points from three games.
Although City were left shell-shocked by a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stoke, they will be boosted by their 3-1 victory over last season's runners up Liverpool.
Dzeko's belief that Liverpool will again challenge for top spot is in stark contract to the thoughts of teammate Samir Nasri, who predicted the Reds will struggle this term.
The Premier League has taken a backwards seat in the last week as the international break took centre stage, but it'll be back with a bang this weekend when City take on Arsenal in a lunchtime kick off on Saturday.
The game represents the start of a busy fortnight which could shape Manuel Pellegrini's quest for league and european glory.
After taking on the Gunners City will travel to Munich to face Bayern in their first Champions League group game hoping to make a positive start in the quest for a first European title in 45 years.
Just four days later they welcome Chelsea to the Etihad stadium hoping to avenge the 1-0 home defeat Mourinho's men inflicted on them at the back end of last season.
Despite the difficult fixture list Dzeko remains confident about his sides chances, he said: "It will be difficult, but I'm an optimist. As with every season, there are several teams that will battle for the title of champions in England."
Committing to City
Dzeko will no doubt be a major player for Pellegrini in the weeks to come but it could have been different had transfer speculation come to fruition this summer.
Instead the 28-year-old happily signed a new four-year deal and is keen to build on last year's success.
The target-man said: "In general, I had no dilemma around an extension. I'm happy at City, the manager believes in me, which is certainly important, and I give my all on the pitch.
"Altogether it means quite a lot to me, because Manchester is a club with great ambitions and it was an easy decision to stay put.
"The past season was one of the best in my career. And in the end we reached the title of champions of England, the second in the past three seasons.
"We also succeeded in winning the Capital One Cup and I am really happy how everything played out in the past season, both for the club and for myself."
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