Chelsea and Manchester City the only title challengers

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Nine games into the new domestic campaign and title favourites have already emerged.

Before the commencing of this term, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City were all tipped to be contenders, but many would say that only two of those sides remain in that category.

At the summit, Chelsea. José Mourinho's Blues have blistered out of the blocks, steamrolling nearly every side into their path.


Chelsea have maintained an unbeaten start, winning on seven occasions and only failing to claim all three points away at the Etihad and away at Old Trafford.

Summer acquisitions Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas have propelled Mourinho's men to the peak, and have helped Chelsea to open up a four-point-gap at the top, six clear of Manchester City, their closest challenger.

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Sitting in third, champions Manchester City have started well, but have slipped up against the likes of Stoke and West Ham, leaving them six points behind leaders Chelsea.

Argentine forward Sergio Agüero has struck on nine occasions in eight games, firing City past their competitors and into third place. Agüero's record this season is only bettered by that of Chelsea's Diego Costa, who has claimed nine goals in one game fewer.

Challenges over

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have effectively been ruled out of the title race, due to slow starts, lack of personnel and poor transfer business.

All three sides are considerably behind Chelsea, with 14 points, 14 points and 13 points respectively, tallies that leave them closer to Sunderland in the relegation zone than to Chelsea at the crown. Barring a remarkable turn-around, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are out of the title race.

Pre-season favourites Chelsea have lived up to expectations, with Manchester City there and thereabouts, as predicted. However the plummet in form of Liverpool and Arsenal has surprised many.

Manchester United were expected to rise from the ashes under Louis van Gaal, but, incredibly, are worse of this season than last, despite being dished out an easier fixture-list. In all effective manners, the title race is bluntly a two-horse-race.

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