Florent Malouda expects Manchester United to be Chelsea's main rivals for the Barclays Premier League crown once again.
The title holders have started the season in impressive fashion, and currently sit top of the table by virtue of a superior goal difference to Manchester City.
Chelsea, though, are only three points behind the leaders at this early stage and are likely to maintain a constant threat throughout the campaign.
The Blues and United have enjoyed an intense rivalry in recent seasons, with the two clubs winning seven titles between them since 2005.
It is a rivalry which is unlikely to cease this term, and Malouda predicts normal service will be resumed come the business end of the campaign.
"That’s the way it’s been since 2004," said the Chelsea winger.
"A real rivalry has developed, with the title going to one team and second place to the other, or vice versa. It’s always a fierce battle right up until the end.
"Last season, we lost the title at Old Trafford, and the year that before we won it there. History has been repeating itself a bit recently.
"This season, our senior players have stayed, and ambitious, talented youngsters have come on board. That mix of experience and hunger should allow us to remain competitive in every competition."
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