Sir Alex Ferguson has reluctantly admitted something that he would never have done during his time as manager of Manchester United.
Since retiring from the game in 2013, Ferguson has been a helpless bystander as the Red Devils have struggled to maintain their superiority in the Premier League.
Failed stints from David Moyes and Louis van Gaal meant the club turned to Jose Mourinho during the summer in an attempt to restore their status as a title-challenging team.
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But despite spending well over £100 million in the most recent transfer window, Mourinho's side have already lost three Premier League games this season and are six points behind local rivals Manchester City at the top of the table.
Having now taken a step back from the cauldron of management, Ferguson still keeps a close eye on his old club's progress as well as the rest of the other top sides in England.
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And he thinks that the team Man United beat in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, Pep Guardiola's Man City, are favourites to finish the campaign at the top of the league - despite being on a run of six matches without a win.
"I think there's five potential candidates: Manchester City as favourites, Tottenham and Liverpool, but also Man United are still there if we get some consistency soon," Ferguson told German magazine, Kicker, as per ESPN.
"Even when you are trailing by six, eight points, it's still possible to catch one or two teams.
"The rivalry and the experience of Guardiola and Mourinho makes for an exciting competition. And you shouldn't forget Arsenal. The team is more sturdy. They've got better and more aggressive."
Accepting that 'the noisy neighbours' are in a better position than United to win the league must be a bitter pill to swallow for Ferguson but he will still have faith in Mourinho to resurrect a title bid.
A sweet strike from Juan Mata was the only difference between the two teams on Wednesday night, although Guardiola did rest most of his big names for the cup tie.
United's next three Premier League games are against Burnley, Swansea and Arsenal. Nine points from nine might even be enough for Ferguson to change his tune on the Premier League's favourites to one he is more commonly associated with.
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