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 By Kevin Palmer

Chelsea can go unbeaten this season, says Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock

Diego Costa finally gets off the mark for Spain against Luxembourg as the Chelsea striker hopes to turn around a poor start for his national side.

Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock says Chelsea could go through the entire Premier League season unbeaten ahead of his side's meeting with Jose Mourinho's Blues this weekend.

The prospect of a unblemished Premier League campaign to match the efforts of Arsenal in the 2003-04 campaign may seem a little ambitious for table-topping Chelsea after just seven games, but Warnock suggested they could make it happen.

"It is a possibility," said Warnock. "When you look at the Arsenal team that did it, I think this is as near as you are going to get to a flawless team. It's pretty solid everywhere. There are not many weaknesses in the team.

"I was in the media last season and I tipped them to win the title. How they nearly won it without a striker, it was incredible. Now they have got a top-class striker in Diego Costa, Jose must be quietly confident of winning the title."

Warnock went on to lavish praise on Mourinho, as he compared the Portuguese tactician favourably to the enigmatic former Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough.

"I think [Mourinho] is the best there is," continued Warnock. "He's great for you guys [the media], he's always quoting something.

"When he came on the scene, he was such a good-looking so-and-so as well, but he has proved himself to be a good manager. He's a players' manager. I'm sure he's said a few things over the last 12 months that he might have regretted later, but that's the way it is.

"It's an emotional game, you can't have it all ways. He's the nearest thing to Cloughie, really. Tactically, when it comes to the tough games, he's spot on."

Palace beat Chelsea when they met them at the back end of last season, all but ending Mourinho's hopes of lifting the Premier League title in his first season back at Stamford Bridge, but Warnock believes he could have solved that problem with a shrewd signing midway through the season.

"He's signed well, but if they'd signed a striker in January, they'd have won the league [last season], so it will take a super-human effort for us to beat them," he added.

"Everyone knows Chelsea have got to be below par and we have got to be at the top of our game to have any chance. That's the same with any team playing against Chelsea.

"I'm concentrating on our players because if you think about their players too much you wouldn't sleep. We've got ammunition that can hurt them as well. We've got players who can cause them problems."

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