Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti insists Manchester City are still in the Barclays Premier League title race this season under fellow Italian Roberto Mancini.
Ancelotti's side head into 2010 top of the table but suffered an inconsistent December, while City recorded back-to-back wins after appointing Mancini to take over from Mark Hughes.
Sir Alex Ferguson has predicted a two-horse race for the championship between his Manchester United side and Chelsea, but Ancelotti said: "A lot of teams will be involved in the fight for the title. I don't want to forget Arsenal, I don't want to forget Manchester City or any other teams. I don't know if Arsenal, Aston Villa, Tottenham or Liverpool can fight for the title, but I know that to play against them is not easy."
He added: "I think the last results, the result of Manchester City above all, show they have an opportunity to return to the top four.
"It's a very competitive championship, this. Staying at the top of the list, for us, for six months is a very good situation. We did a very good job in these six months to maintain this first place in the league."
Ancelotti, however, believes Mancini will find it difficult to attract top players to Eastlands when the January transfer window opens.
"I think it's very difficult to buy top players at this moment," he said. "The teams that have top players keep them in January. That's normal."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms